Is There a Natural Way to Prevent the Flu?

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But you know lifestyle is the best medicine we've got, and that really is comprised of a short list of factors. My top three are avoid tobacco, eat well, be physically active, that I routinely extend the list of the super six, so we got , those first three which I like to call feet, forks and fingers, and then there is sleep, stress and love.

Sleep has major effects on immune system function. If you're sleep deprived you'll be much more vulnerable to the flu, if you get that recommended seven to eight hours of good quality sleep at night, it's probably as good as helping you avoid viral infection as almost anything else we've got all by itself.

It balances hormones, it enhances immune system resistance, really just makes you healthier, and being healthy is the single best defense we have against getting sick, so that's really important. Similar answer regarding stress, if you don't dissipate stress, if you hold it inside, it too causes hormonal imbalances, and in particular it affects the stress hormone like cordozole which then throws our insulin level and all of these leads to a prone inflammatory cascade, ties up your immune system doing unproductive things instead of living it available to do productive things like defend you against the flu.

So controlling stress, getting enough sleep, love is a pretty powerful tonic actually. It enhances the hormones that are associated with good health and vitality, which makes us feel better and frankly a good psychological state balances neurotransmitters. There's a biological aspect to happiness and contentment.

So, it can be a romantic love but it doesn't have to be. Just really getting with the people that you care about and making sure that's an important part of your routine. It's a good thing to do, it makes life better but it actually is also going to defend you against the threat of viral infections like the flu and then of course, eat well, be physically active, and those can go into lengthy discussions about the particulars, but moderate physical activity, definitely enhances immune system function, and then the usual things with regard to diet, eat close to nature, real foods, lots of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, seeds all those usual suspects.

All of those things provide a wide variety of nutrients that help defend against infection, optimize immune system function. We could talk about specifics, vitamin D is potentially beneficial, flu tends to stalk us in the Winter months. In the Winter months we're not getting very much sun exposure so our vitamin D levels tend to drop, vitamin D influences immune system function.

So vitamin D supplement for most of us makes good sense and in fact, I typically take 1000 International Units during the warmer months of the year and often takes 2000 IU during the Winter months when flu is the greatest threat and I recommend that to many of my patients, and some need even more than that, to get a normal blood level.

Omega-3, you can get it from food, but a supplement may also help balance the immune system function. Another supplement that I feel pretty strongly about is a probiotic, not everybody needs one, but if you've been exposed to antibiotics, if you've had any sort of procedures affecting the intestinal tract.

If you eat a diet that's high in chemicals or processed foods, it's pretty likely that will disrupt the normal balance of flora in the intestine, and we're actually out numbered in our own skin, 20 to one bacteria to cell, it's incredible. So the influence these bacteria have, on our physiology is profound.

And one of the things the affect the most, is immune system function. So a probiotic may be a worth while considerations. Get the super six lifestyle factors right, and then strategic use of supplements and you really take on a pretty powerful shield against the flu, not quiet a guarantee you are going to avoid it, you still need a vaccine, but it really can go a long way toward protecting you.