Approximately 5-20 percent of the American population battles the flu each year. For most, flu prevention comes down to one question: to flu shot or not to flu shot? Considering that the flu shot contains questionable ingredients along with a host of common side effects eerily similar to the flu, it’s a loaded question. Here’s the good news: flu prevention isn’t just about getting a vaccine. Not only are there safe alternatives to the flu vaccine, there are also five simple actions you can take toward flu prevention and building your immune system.
1.Evaluate your diet. Are you eating plenty of organic fruits, vegetables and nuts? Have you eliminated immune depressors sugar and processed foods? If not, this is a change to consider to not only boost your immune system, but to ensure your overall health and well-being.
2.Optimize your vitamin D levels. This is a recommendation across the board for fighting disease and illness. Why does the incidence of the flu decrease during the summer months and is lowest in the southern hemisphere? Because both correlate with high levels of vitamin D!
3.Don’t skimp on sleep. Give your body time to repair. The sleep cycle is your body’s natural means to recharge and is crucial to the healthy regeneration of your cells, the building blocks for a healthy immune system.
4.Exercise to strengthen not only your muscles, but your immune system as well. Exercise improves your immune response. It doesn’t have to be strenuous; a brisk walk will do the trick!
5.Evaluate your thyroid status. Individuals with hypothyroidism are prone to chronic and recurrent infections. If you have the symptoms of hypothyroidism, correcting this imbalance is important for equipping your body’s immune system to fight infections on its own.
There are a few supplements that are known for their immune building properties such as Vitamin C, Zinc Chelate, Garlic, Echinacea, Probiotics and N-Acetyl Cysteine.
For our guests at the Hotze Health & Wellness Center, we are offering an alternative to the flu vaccine in our Viral Nasal Spray. Our Viral Nasal Spray is free of thimerosal and works by enhancing the body’s interferon levels. Interferon is a natural protein produced by the immune system in response to foreign agents such as viruses, parasites and tumor cells. Interferon assists with the immune response by inhibiting viral replication with host cells and inducing the resistance of host cells to viral infection. This is in contrast to the flu shot, which produces only antibodies to a specific strain of flu virus. It can be used for ages four and up and is also safe for use with any health condition and is even safe during pregnancy. If you are a patient, please call the Center at 877-577-1900 for more information on how to order the Viral Nasal Spray.
Regardless of what you choose, remember that flu prevention isn’t just about getting a shot. Continue to build your immune system throughout the year and you will continue to reap the benefits of good health in 2011!