How Not To Get The Flu When You Don’t Want The Shot
Influenza or “the flu”, is a viral infection that is contagious and can spread easily. Typically, it affects the upper respiratory tract and causes coughing, chest congestion, sneezing, body aches, and pains, and is usually accompanied by a fever. Society has pushed the flu vaccine on the population for preventative measures for decades, but you can still get the flu even if vaccinated. Which is why I’ve created my how not to get the flu guide.
Viral infections can mutate, which makes it more difficult for modern medicine to keep up with the strains of influenza. By eating healthy, taking plenty of vitamin C, choice herbs, and exercising, you can keep your immune system healthy and ward off the flu.
If you do get the flu, here is important information on foods, herbals and other ways of prevention and immune system building you can do to stay healthy.
Measures To Take For Prevention
If family members are infected with Influenza, it would certainly benefit you to boost your own immune system, lest you yourself become infected. If your children or your spouse is coughing, sneezing, and running a temperature, you should wear a respirator mask while spending time with them.
Refrain from kissing, hugging, or any other sort of physical contact until the illness has run its course. Make sure their clothing, dishes and general area in the bedroom and office areas are also kept extra clean. If you are able to, always wipe areas down with bleach or wipes that are anti-bacterial. Opening windows for small time periods helps clear out potentially infected air in your home as well.
Avoid the following:
- Share food or drink
- Shake hands
- Any skin to skin contact
- Stand close to someone who’s sneezing or coughing
- Touch surfaces that are contaminated
If you have an extra room, you may want to have that person in their own quarters until they start feeling better. And make sure to follow an even better diet, vitamins, hot teas, and make sure to get their temperature under control. The most important supplements are vitamin C several times a day (non-ascorbate kind, Esther C, 1,000 mg, 4-8 times a day).
Scrambled eggs, toast, homemade chicken noodle, hot lemon tea, and goldenseal 3 times a day in capsule form is my plan for combating the flu. But, elderberry is also great in place of Echinacea or Golden Seal. See my elderberry benefits article.
Ways to Boost Your Immune System Year Round: Foods, Vitamins, Herbs
Eating a healthy diet is important for maintaining weight, gaining lean muscle, and fighting off viruses. It’s important so you are able to function and hopefully ward off deadly viruses without getting a flu shot.
Importance of Quality Good Food and the Immune System
Starting with diet is important, it is best to stay away from fried and greasy foods typically served on the fly. You want to stick to certain fruits, veggies, hard cheeses, and good fats and oils. Free range meats and eggs, wild caught fish, organic meats or grass-fed, are the items to read for on your foods.
Farmers markets locally are also perfect for the quality of organic foods. The kind of products found in food stores can be loaded with hormones, antibiotics, or sprayed with harsh chemicals, all contributing to immune system weakening. All of these GMO foods are not good for combating viruses and other infections and illness.
Foods Excellent for the Immune System:
- Free range eggs: great source of protein
- Non-hormone induced chicken
- Salmon, sardines – high in omega 3 fatty acids
- Avocados – high in fatty acids and protein
- Carrots – high in vitamin A
- Kale – high in zinc, C, antioxidants
- Broccoli – high in zinc
- Oranges, grapefruit – high in vitamin C
- Apples, bananas, blueberries – high in antioxidants, c and fiber
- Honey – antiviral
- Ginger – great for nausea and immune system
- Garlic – antiviral and antibacterial
- Onions – antibacterial
- Bone Broth – great for immune strength, muscles and joints (organic bone from a local butcher, boiled with water to make broth – can buy dehydrated packets online but they are expensive)
- Fruit popsicles
- Yogurt (plain or Greek)
- Vegetable juice
- Chicken soup
Good Fats You Should Be Eating for Immune Health
When your primary care doctor tells you to minimize carbs and eat more veggies, a lot of times they don’t mention fats. There are foods high in bad fats – a lot of them. These foods are dangerous because they are saturated fats that can lead to a stroke. But, good fats, such as real blue cheese bits, quality bacon, or avocados are all examples of fats that do wonders for inflammation and to help the immune system stay strong and healthy.
Real butter (never margarine or oils filled with harmful chemical derivatives and potentially plastic), sharp hard cheese are also great fats you should be eating. A lot of country cooking uses straight lard for flavor and this is also another example. These fats are healthy and help organs gain strength. Be mindful of heavy fat intake if you are susceptible to gallbladder problems. Everything should be consumed in moderation, even ‘good’ foods.
Supplements for Immune Health
- Vitamin C (Esther C, non-ascorbate)
- Multivitamin – daily
- Magnesium – for muscles and joints
- L-Arginine (keeps circulation moving, improves cellular function)
- MSM – muscles and joints, also anti-inflammatory
- Potassium – provides support when sweating constantly
Herbals That Help with Infections
- Echinacea – antibiotic, antiviral
- Elderberry – anti-viral, high level antioxidant, high in C
- Golden Seal – antibacterial, anti-viral, anti-fungal
- Marijuana or Hemp oils, salves (if legal in your state)
- Olive Leaf – antifungal, anti-bacterial and anti-viral
- Oregano – anti-viral, from the mint family
- Ashwagandha – Immune booster, anti-stress
The Importance of Exercising and the Immune System
If you’re not a fan of exercising, that’s understandable. However, keeping your joints, muscles, and weight healthy will keep your digestive system moving and more optimal for absorption of food and supplements.
Walking for at least 30 minutes a day for one to two miles can vastly improve your immune strength. It helps blood flow which leads to cellular rejuvenation. It keeps cells in your body healthy and strong.
If you are limited from certain medical conditions, make sure you are eating foods high in antioxidants and foods high in C and eating good fats. Also, if you aren’t able to walk and are confined to a bed or chair and you are able: you can do leg raises and arm circles and other techniques.
Other Than Walking, Home Exercises:
- Stretches with bands
- Leg raises
- Arm circles
- Dumbbell exercises
- General body stretches
- Rowing machine
- Stationary bike
If you suffer from a chronic medical condition you can be more susceptible to the flu. Children who go to school are more susceptible as well as babies. Their immune systems are still in development, which makes it easier for them to get ill.
The elderly are most of the time on more medications and have various medical issues. They are weaker and also susceptible. Chronic conditions, especially any immune system and GI issues can acquire the flu easier as well. After all, if your gut health is poor, your immune system is also poor. Always keep your gut healthy!
Individuals Who Are More at Risk:
- Chronic Medical Conditions
- Immune System Disorders
IV Vitamin C for Infections
Vitamin C orally or in IV form can significantly boost the immune system in large amounts. In IV form it can combat infection even better. Many integrative doctors across our nation and around the globe practice this at their clinics. It has been used to help immune-compromised individuals with weak GI systems.
It helps fight inflammation, infection and is awesome because you’re bypassing the GI tract and feeding the organs directly. Integrative MDs also usually add magnesium, calcium, b vitamins and other supplements as needed in the vitamin C IV bag mixture. This kind of therapy isn’t just a celebrity fad for hangovers!
Conditions That Can Improve With IV C:
- Any Chronic Infection: Bacterial or Viral
- Lyme disease
- Chronic bladder infections
- GI infections and inflammation
- The list goes on…
Limiting Pharmaceutical Drugs and Recreational Drugs
The more pharmaceuticals you take the more your immune system is weakened. If you are on several for chronic conditions, consider other alternatives such as diet, and vitamin therapy. There has also been a link between too many antibiotics causing resistance to superbug infections and causing the immune system becoming too weak.
Also, exercising can improve a variety of cardiovascular and neurological conditions. Keeping a healthy diet and weight is essential for boosting immune health. The more your liver and pancreas have to work to adapt to the drugs, the weaker you are. The side effects are sometimes worse than the benefit compared to old fashioned healthy diet and moving your body for circulation and digestion purposes.
Street drugs; such as heroin, crack, cocaine, and meth destroy your immune system over time. This is why the majority of these people (if they don’t die from being an addict, they die from a failing immune system. Pneumonia, C Difficile, skin lesions, GI conditions, and other deadly infections can happen when the drugs have worn out the immune system causing infections and inflammation to occur.
They are also risking infections from sharing needles and many get liver diseases and some HIV – the ultimate chronic immune system compromise.
Cannabis and the Immune System
Depending on the state you live in you might not be able to get marijuana. However, cannabis has another plant that’s called hemp. Due to the US Farm Bill, there is leeway for states to produce and sell hemp CBD oil. In this oil mixture form, the hemp species of the cannabis plant can relieve stress, pain, anxiety, and can help you relax and improve your immune health faster – along with a good steady diet and exercise.
Hemp has minimal THC compared to marijuana, so the oil isn’t going to make you feel high. The oil comes in varying tincture bottles and usually is in dosages from 600mg up to 3000mg, sometimes higher. The CBD bottles typically are between 30ml and 150mg, sometimes larger. It all depends on the scope of the company or local apothecary’s capacity for making a product.
The flu is easy to get if you aren’t careful about eating right, taking your vitamins, and having routine exercise. Eating good fats helps to build immune strength. Having less stress by using CBD products is also helpful to keep your system healthy. Make sure you limit the number of pharmaceuticals as these are harsh on the body. Trying to replace these with alternatives is best, but discuss any changes with your doctor.
If you suffer from health conditions already keeping your immune system healthy is going to be more of a job, however, you want to do what you are able to keep healthy other than monitoring your chronic conditions. Be cautious around people who already have the flu. You are able to control this more at home, rather than in the workplace. Maintaining healthy life choices will always benefit your immune health. Also, always be conscious of people who are sick and take precautions accordingly.
Author: Meredith Iager
Meredith has 13 years of writing experience online and in newspapers and studied journalism at Hood College in Frederick, Maryland. Over the years, she has contributed entertainment articles and reviews to various sites including FrederickNewsPost.com and Fanbolt.com.
Since 2010, she has focused on AMA and integrative health and wellness content for AngiesList.com, SteadyContent.com, and a variety of private clients. She is an avid supporter of being prepared when SHTF and growing your own food, and is pro federal legalization of marijuana.
In addition to writing, she does transcription, researches on health constantly, and is an avid oil and acrylic painter. You can check out her paintings and older articles here: Meredith_A_Iager on HubPages | Follow Meredith on Instagram