The US has seen a pretty harsh flu epidemic the few couple weeks. A lot of families resort to the flu vaccination and consider themselves safe, but this simply isn’t true. The flu vaccination has shown to only protect 1 out of 100 people, or 1%. Fortunately there are much more safe and effective measures to keep yourself from getting the flu and other sicknesses.1. The Obvious
Most of you should know this already. Wash your hands frequently and avoid sick people. Duh! But do you really practice washing your hands as much as you could? I always keep a bottle of hand sanitizer in the car and van when we go out. If my hands or my daughters hands come into contact with absolutely any surface in a public environment, the first thing we do is use the hand sanitizer before we leave. Then once we get home, we all wash our hands. Initially I had to constantly remind my husband to wash his hands; fortunately not so much anymore.
I also told him to stop using his gyms water fountain as he was always getting sick. After having him wash his hands all the time and he started bringing his own water to the gym, he rarely gets sick anymore. Needless to say, do everything in you power to prevent your children from using water fountains.2. Vitamin D Supplementing
Vitamin D is an essential fat soluble vitamin of which the majority of Americans are deficient, especially in the winter months. We get Vitamin D naturally from the sun and a select few foods. Adequate levels of vitamin D are necessary for proper immune system function. Many professionals in the medical realm believe that vitamin D deficiency is the primary reason for the cold and flu season. The cold and flu viruses don’t simply disappear during the spring and summer months, but they’re held at bay by the more adequate levels of vitamin D that people receiving by being outdoors.
The solution is to take vitamin D supplements every day in the fall and winter months. My family takes vitamin D daily. I give my toddler vitamin D drops (1,000 IU, which is 1 drop) per day.3. Probiotics
The immune system begins in your gut. It’s populated with millions of beneficial bacteria, but because many of us have poor diets, we’re lacking in those beneficial gut bacteria. Probiotics are a great way to ensure that you have an adequate amount of healthy bacteria in your gut. One study found that people who consume 1 yogurt per day have 25% less colds than those who do not. While I don’t recommend eating yogurt, this shows that even a little bit of beneficial bacteria can great improve your immune system.4. Drink 2 hot beverages a day
Hot beverages (such as tea or coffee) kill viruses in your throat before they become problematic and make you sick. The viruses in their early stages cannot survive the hot temperatures. Make it habit, particularly during cold and flu seasons to drink a hot beverage daily. Tea with lemon and honey is your best bet, but hot beverage is better than none.5. Eat Healthy
Eating well is the best thing you can do to keep yourself and your children healthy. The phrase “You are what you eat” exists for a reason. Aside from the obvious of eating a lot of fresh fruits and vegetables, it’s extremely important to limit your sugar intake. Sugar can suppress the immune system. It’s difficult to limit a childs intake of sugar, but definitely keep that on the forefront of your mind.