Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Fighting the Flu

With the flu virus popping up everywhere, you can never be too careful. Try to wash your hands or use sanitizer often, and pop a couple extra vitamin c pills. Keep in mind these handy tips to staying well during the coming months. Stay healthy :) 

1)  Eat Up


Fresh or ground cayenne pepper may help ease the symptoms of the flu and cold. Capsaicin, the chemical compound that makes peppers hot, may help improve circulation, delivering nutrients and vitamins to infected cells. The heat from capsaicin may also help relieve congestion in your chest and nasal cavities.


Ginger contains antiviral compounds that may help destroy flu and cold-causing viruses. This food may also help boost your immune system, supporting the production of natural antibacterial and antiviral compounds.


Foods rich in zinc may help boost your immune system and reduce the symptoms of colds and flu according to the University of Maryland Medical Center. Zinc, beans, chickpeas, seafood, red meats, eggs and soybeans are abundant sources of zinc. 


Garlic contains chemical compounds that offer powerful antibiotic and antiviral properties. These compounds may improve your body's ability to destroy cold and flu viruses . Garlic may also improve circulation, helping your circulatory system deliver vital nutrients, oxygen and hydration to your body's cells.

2) Drink some Tea


The leaves of the eucalyptus plant, an herb native to Australia, may help relieve cold and flu symptoms. Aboriginal tribes used teas made from eucalyptus leaves to treat fever. Eucalyptus also contains a chemical compound, called eucalyptol, that may help loosen phlegm and relieve chest congestion and may also help destroy the influenza virus. 


Peppermint is a common ingredient in over the counter cough remedies and decongestants. This herb contains menthol, which may help relieve congestion and help with your coughs. The oil in peppermint leaves may also have antiviral benefits, helping to prevent the spread of viruses that cause colds and flu. 


Mate is an herb that was used by native Indians of South America as a preventative for scurvy. Mate tea contains vitamin C, which can enhance immune system function, helping your body ward off viruses. The only thing to watch is the caffeine because it might interfere with your sleep, drink it in the early part of the day if you know you're effected. 

3) Take your Vitamins 
You've probably heard that vitamin C helps you get over a cold faster, it's because of effective antioxidants that protect our bodies from free radicals. Vitamin C serves as an effective antihistamine that will lessen the symptoms of the common cold, including inflammation, stuffy nose and aches. But it's even more effective if you also get enough vitamin E.  E makes white blood cells more efficient at fighting off infection. You need 65 to 75 mg of vitamin C daily, but if you feel a cold coming on, get up to 1,000 mg 

4) Get a Rub Down
Getting a Massage increases your storage of natural killer cells — the immune system's front line of defense. Massage also lowers levels of the stress hormone cortisol, which destroys immune cells. It’s not good for the human body to continuously be exposed to stress hormones, because this can lead to other diseases such as depression, anxiety, obesity, heart disease, high blood pressure, and sleep disorders. Wow, I never knew massages had such healing power...

5. Stuff your face with bac­te­ria. 
Yeah, sounds gross but it’s not. Eat your bac­te­ria by con­sum­ing fer­mented foods like yogurt, kefir, sauer­kraut, kim chi, non-GMO natto or miso, or take pro­bi­otic cap­sules. Pop­u­lat­ing your gut with healthy bac­te­ria will help keep you healthy and ward off path­o­genic bac­te­ria and yeast. 

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