Natural Ways to Fight the Flu
It’s as easy as a walk in the park. Literally. That’s one of the ways to build your immune system. Direct exposure to the sun helps our bodies produce vitamin D, which is so important in fighting disease. As we head into the flu season, did you know that there are natural ways to fight off the flu? Here are a few of them.
While supplements are always a simple way to get any of these vitamins and minerals, there are much more tasty and fun ways to build our immunity. It only makes sense that there are foods in nature that help build our immunity and help us ward off disease. What’s nice is that they are tasty foods! Registered dietitian Andrea Garen has this to say about the simplicity of using food to build our ability to fight the flu:
“Adding flu-fighting foods like yogurt, garlic, citrus and chicken to your diet can boost your body’s immune system and help you to avoid getting sick.”
It’s the probiotics in yogurt that makes it so good for us. Any other probiotic-rich milk culture is just as good. There are even foods that are rich in probiotics that are non-dairy, including soy sauce.
Garlic is power-packed in its ability to build the immune system and fight off disease. It’s also a natural antibiotic. Personally, I used to take garlic supplements when I could feel myself fighting something off. You may smell of garlic breath for a little while, but it’s well worth it if you don’t get sick. Another natural antibiotic is raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar. Honestly, it’s my new miracle cure. Admittedly, I haven’t tested it on the Swine Flu, but I’m impressed by how many times I could feel myself getting sick and not actually get it because of the vinegar.
Citrus fruits are a great way to get vitamin C, which also boosts immunity. But it’s better to eat them than to drink them. I’ve heard it said that we should eat our fruit and drink our vegetables. That way we get the amount that we need of each. Even though a glass of orange juice is a much better option than a can of soda, we still get a lot of unnecessary sugar in each glass. (And sugar is one of the enemies of our immune systems.) However, eating a grapefruit or orange in the morning is a tasty way to get our vitamin C for the day.
Zinc is another immunity builder. Some of the foods rich in zinc include chicken, turkey, almonds, kidney beans and spinach. Here’s a list of more zinc rich foods.
Last, and definitely not least, vitamin D is critical for fighting off sickness. Here are just a few of the health benefits of vitamin D:
- Reduce heart disease risk
- Decrease risk of metabolic syndrome (a condition that increases the risk for heart disease and diabetes)
- Prevent bone fractures and decrease risk of osteoporosis
- Reduce risk of developing diabetes
- Fight against colds and flu
- Fight cancer – especially prostate, colon, ovarian and breast
- Enhance ability to lose weight
Some say that getting direct sunlight for 15 minutes three times a week is enough to produce the levels of vitamin D necessary for it to do its job in protecting us. If we can’t get direct sunlight, we can drink a glass of milk, eat fish, or take cod liver oil. All of these are excellent sources of vitamin D.