How To Prepare For Flu Season
As flu season approaches, it’s crucial to take proactive steps to protect yourself and boost your immune system. One of the key aspects of staying healthy during flu season is maintaining a balanced and nutritious diet. Focus on consuming a variety of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and healthy, clean proteins such as grass fed meats, bone broth, and/or legumes. Foods rich in vitamin C and D, such as citrus fruits, berries, and leafy greens, can strengthen your immune system. Probiotics found in yogurt,kefir,and fermented foods also support gut health, which is linked to overall immunity. In addition to a healthy diet, consider taking a couple extra supplements to fill potential nutritional gaps especially during the holidays when we might indulge in extra sweets and alcohol (which I strongly urge you keep to a minimum). Vitamin C supplements can be beneficial as they are known to enhance immunity. Vitamin D is essential for immune regulation; try to get your D through sun exposure but if you’re not getting outside as much you might want to take vitamin D during the winter months when your sun exposure is limited. Zinc supplements can also boost your immune system and help reduce the severity and duration of colds. Herbal teas like echinacea and elderberry are believed to have immune boosting properties, especially if you add a bit of raw or manuka honey which are powerhouses for healing infections and inflammation. Honey and ginger have antibacterial properties and great additions to your weekly food lists during flu season. Certain essential oils work wonders and are kept in my house all winter. They can be burned in an infuser or put directly on the skin. My favorite is Thieves oil,which has a combination of antibacterial oils. Remember to practice good hygiene, avoiding contact with sick individuals, and disinfecting frequently touched surfaces to prevent the spreading of viruses, especially the hands. Another very important subject to address is stress. Flu season combined with the hustle and bustle of the holiday season can cause a lot of stress. Try to be aware when you are starting to get stressed and stop and take a few deep breaths. Maybe meditate more or just take time during the day to rest and be present with your mind and body, even if for 5 minutes. This helps us to witness when we are doing too much and perhaps helps us to slow down. We don’t need to strive for perfection or please everyone’s expectations around us. Look for the true meaning of the holiday and prioritize what’s important. Prolonged stress will wear us down and leave us open for infection or virus. By watching our stress level, combining a nutrient rich diet, appropriate supplements, natural remedies, and healthy lifestyle habits, you can bolster your immune system and reduce your susceptibility to the flu during the upcoming season. Be with loved ones and find joy and laughter. All the above will help get through the season a bit easier! Below is a list of foods I like to keep in my house, especially during the flu season, as well as a couple of easy recipes.
During the flu season it is essential to focus on a nutrient-dense diet to support the immune system and overall health. Here are some of the best healthy foods to eat during flu season:
- Citrus fruits…oranges, grapefruit, lemons, limes. All are high in vitamin C, which is known to fight infection.
- Berries…Blueberries, strawberries, raspberries are packed with antioxidant and vitamins that support immune function.
- Leafy greens…Spinach, collards, kale, arugala, and other leafy greens are excellent sources of A and C , as well as various antioxidants.
- Garlic…Garlic contains allicin, a compound known for its antimicrobial properties. It can help fight off infections and support overall immune health.
- Ginger… Ginger has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. It can be used in teas, soups, or stir-fries.
- Yogurt… and fermented foods (saurkraut, kimchi, pickles,etc) all contain healthy probiotics to support gut health and immunity.
- Turmeric…Curcumin, the active ingredient in turmeric, has powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. It can be added to soups, curries, or warm milk.
- Nuts and seeds… Almonds, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, flax seeds, hemp seeds, and pumpkin seeds are rich in vitamin E and essential fatty acids, which is important for maintaining a healthy immune system.
- Protein…wild caught salmon, grass-fed meats, and legumes are excellent sources of protein, which is essential for the body’s immune function and tissue repair
- Broths and soups…warm broths and soups are not only soothing and nourishing, they are easily digested in the body and keep you hydrated. They can be packed with vegetables, proteins, and whole grains for added nutrition.
- Mushrooms…Certain mushrooms, like shiitake, and maitake, contain beta-glucans, which have immune boosting properties.
- Whole grains…Quinoa, buckwheat, brown rice, oats, and spelt provide fiber and essential nutrients, supporting overall health and immunity.
Remember to stay hydrated by drinking plenty of fluids including, water, herbal teas, coconut water, raw pressed juices, and clear broths. A well balanced diet that includes these immune boosting foods can help strengthen your body’s defenses during flu season. Remember to take time during the day to meditate, do conscious breathing, or go for a walk out in the fresh air, whatever healthy method of relaxation that suits you best. Spend time with people you love, and find joy. Always talk to your doctor before making changes to your diet and supplements.
This drink is kept in the refrigerator until needed. At first sign of cold/flu take one shot glass full, up to four a day until symptoms subside. This drink is anti-fungal, anti-bacterial, anti-parasitic,and antiviral. In a heavy duty blender mix together all ingredients below for a good two to three minutes. Place in an airtight quart glass jar and add more water if needed to fill one inch from the top of the jar, shake and refrigerate.
15 cloves of garlic
¼ cup grated ginger
1 tablespoon turmeric powder
3 ounces apple cider vinegar
1 whole lemon (organic)
¼ cup manuka honey
1 ounce extra virgin olive oil
1 cup water.
A comforting and nourishing soup can be incredibly soothing during the flu. Here’s a simple and nutritious chicken soup recipe that is often considered a go-to during illness. Feel free to add your own take on it. Sometimes I just use what vegetables are left in the refrigerator. Root vegetables (rutabaga, turnips,parsnips,potatoes,etc) in particular can be very nourishing. Have fun with it!
1 Tablespoon of olive oil
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, minced
2 carrots, sliced
2 celery stalks, sliced
4 cups baby spinach (or any other green of your choice)
6 cups chicken or vegetable broth
1 cup shredded chicken or 1 cup beans
1 teaspoon fresh grated ginger
Salt and pepper, to taste
Fresh parsley and cilantro for garnish
*optional: cooked rice or noodles for added substance, although it might make the soup too heavy when you’re dealing with a cold or flu.
In a large pot, heat the olive oil and add chopped onion and sauté until translucent. Add minced garlic, sliced carrots, and celery to the pot. Cook for a few minutes until the vegetables start to soften. Pour in the chicken broth. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat and let simmer for about 10-15 minutes until vegetables start to soften. Add the chicken,spinach, and grated ginger to the pot. Simmer for an additional 15 minutes to let flavors meld together. Season the soup with salt and pepper to taste. Adjust the seasoning to your taste. You might want to add a pinch of your own favorite spice or herb, as well. This soup is not only delicious but is packed with nutrients that can help you feel better during the flu. Remember to stay hydrated and listen to your own body’s needs. If you have specific dietary restrictions or preferences, feel free to modify the recipe accordingly.
Stop by and ask our staff for the best supplements for this flu season. Be well and live joyously!