Friday, May 01, 2009
Though news reports can seem really scary, I’m trying to keep this all in perspective. There are plenty of other illnesses out there that are responsible for far more deaths than swine flu. That’s not necessarily a good thing, but the regular flu kills over 10,000 people annually. Most of the folks hardest hit by influenza are older adults, very young children, and those who already tend to be sickly. Did you know that those are also the people who show the greatest vitamin D deficiencies?
Keep your Vitamin D levels up! We’re all taught that vitamin D is necessary for the development of healthy bones and teeth. But did you know that vitamin D is also great for your immune system? Sure, we all know milk is a great source of vitamin D, but remember that vitamin D can also be found in fish, eggs or fortified cereals. Vitamin D supplements are advised for those not getting enough vitamin D in their diet. Exposure to the sun is also important to keeping your vitamin D levels up. As contrary as it seems, this means exposure to the sun WITHOUT sunscreen. Sunscreens that block UV rays prevent the synthesis of vitamin D in the skin. No one is saying go out and lay in the sun unprotected for hours on end, but a few minutes a couple of times a day could be enough to help keep your vitamin D levels in check.
Hydrate! Our bodies are 80% water. It's important to stay hydrated and to allow the body to flush toxins from the blood and the liver.
Avoid stress. Every time we allow ourselves to become overcome with stress (often things we cannot control or change) we weaken our immune systems. Learn to cope with stress more effectively. Write down everything that worries you. Put that paper away. Read it again 2 months from now. How many of those fears were valid?
Avoid sugar and processed foods. Sugar decreases the function of your immune system almost immediately, and as you likely know, a strong immune system is key to fighting off viruses and other illness. Be aware that sugar is present in foods you may not suspect, like ketchup and fruit juice. This is a good rule even outside the times of a swine flu outbreak.
Get Enough Rest. Just like it becomes harder for you to get your daily tasks done if you're tired, if your body is overly fatigued it will be harder for it to fight the flu. Perhaps some of our relaxation teas could help if you have a problem getting enough rest.
Exercise. When you exercise, you increase your circulation and your blood flow throughout your body. The components of your immune system are also better circulated, which means your immune system has a better chance of finding an illness before it spreads.
Take a good source of animal based omega-3 fats like Krill Oil. Increase your intake of healthy and essential fats like the omega-3 found in krill oil, which is crucial for maintaining health. It is also vitally important to avoid damaged omega-6 oils that are trans-fats and in processed foods as it will seriously damage your immune response.
Wash Your Hands. Washing your hands will decrease your likelihood of spreading a virus to your nose, mouth or other people. Be sure you don't use antibacterial soap for this -- antibacterial soaps are completely unnecessary, as the flu is spread through a virus, not bacteria. A chemical free soap is the safest option for your family.
Avoid Hospitals and Vaccines. Personally, I opt for avoiding hospitals and vaccines unless there is some kind of emergency. Hospitals are breeding grounds for infections of all kinds, and could be one of the likeliest places you could be exposed to this virus. Vaccines cannot be available for at least six months and may be completely ineffective or even dangerous when they do become available.
Boost your immune system with teas. Of course, I will recommend boosting your immune system with teas. Rooibos is a tremendous aid in boosting your immune system, and a completely delicious way of doing so.
Introduce antiviral teas into your life. Herbal teas like Tulsi, Lemon Myrtle and Olive Leaf have antiviral properties to which I personally attribute my well-being. (In the shop we have a popular blend selling called Holy Detox ... it is Tulsi, Lemon Myrtle and Olive Leaf ... the perfect trio! Tulsi and Olive Leaf are not listed on the website at this time) I haven’t had a flu or even much of a cold in over 9 years. While my husband and others around me seem to be under the weather quite often, I continue to go on unaffected, even though I work with the public (at the tea shop) and with 900+ co-workers at my other job. (I’m a quality control technician for a medical device manufacturer). I attribute this success to a couple of factors. I drink lemon myrtle and tulsi on a regular basis. (African Outback is a longtime favorite!)
I try not to worry about the things I cannot control. Do you remember the horrible commercials they showed on TV when the swine flu threatened us in 1976?
1976 swine flu commercials
I wish each and every one of you the very best of health, and sincerely hope this flu does not impact your family.