Flu Prevention Naturally

Preventing the Flu

Once you have the flu it seems like it takes forever to get rid of it. And to top it off, your body's lowered defenses make you susceptible every bug floating around in the air. So, along with the flu, you probably have a cold.

The good news is, there are various natural ways of preventing the flu. Nonetheless, many health experts would agree that there are no known cures for the common cold or flu. So the best thing to do is protect yourself from all bugs that are just dying to make you ill.

When it comes to being proactive against the flu there are several natural methods of prevention. But before you read on, keep in mind that if your symptoms persist then call a healthcare specialist as soon as possible. As well, this article is not intended as medical advice.

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Precautions You Can Take

There are a few steps that you can take throughout the day to help prevent the flu. Just a little bit of mindful attention might keep you from catching a nasty cold or flu bug.

Don't Cover Your Mouth

Many people were taught that covering your mouth when you cough or sneeze is the polite thing to do. I must admit, I have to agree. Unfortunately, viruses and germs will cling onto your hands making it easier to infect others with the first thing you touch. It is best to use a handkerchief when you have to cough or sneeze. But we all know that a sneeze will usually come on suddenly. The next best thing is to cough or sneeze into the side of your elbow. If that fails then use your hands to prevent germs from spreading and then go wash your hands immediately.

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Wash Your Hands

You should always wash your hands often, especially if you work with the public. The majority of flu viruses are spread by direct contact with common items like doorknobs, counters, public drying towels, staircase handles, keyboards, telephones, cups, glasses and other items. When a person sneezes or coughs the germs land on whatever is closest. What many people don’t realize is that germs can live for many hours. In truth, the germs wait for the next victim to pick up or touch the infected item. So wash your hands as often as you can!

Don't Touch Your Face

A common mistake that parents make is touching the face of their child when they are sick. This may seem cold hearted, particularly when your little one does not feel well. However, flu viruses enter your body through your mouth, eyes and nose. It is much better to stop the cold or flu from spreading rather than making everyone in the household sick.

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Get Regular Exercise

One of the best natural ways of preventing the flu is to get plenty of exercise. Moderate to vigorous exercise speeds up the heart rate and pumps more blood to the system. This helps you breathe easier and sends oxygen from your lungs to your blood. Sweating also boosts the body’s defense system by flushing out infections and ugly virus cells.

Get Your Exercise

Balance
Flexibility
Strength
Cardio
Yoga
Stretching
Pilates
Walking/Running
Tai Chi'
Yoga
Lifting Weights
Swimming

Omit or Decrease Cigarettes & Alcohol

While your body is trying to heal from a cold or the flu it is best to eliminate cigarettes and alcohol. If you are unable to quit then at least reduce your consumption. Studies show that cigarettes can weaken your immune system. In fact, research shows that heavy smokers usually get more brutal colds that last a lot longer. Heavy alcohol use also suppresses the immune system. Actually, heavy drinkers are more susceptible to catching and keeping a virus for longer compared to those you drink on occasion. Alcohol also dehydrates the body. Just remember in order to heal faster, additional liquids are definitely needed.

Have you had the flu this winter? What was your approach?

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Eat Foods that Contain Phytochemicals

The name phytochemical is derived from the word phyto which means “plant” in Greek. They are chemical compounds that occur naturally in plants. It is the phytochemicals in plants that give the vitamins in food an amplified boost. These chemicals help protect plants from bugs, germs, fungi and other dangers. According to numerous health specialists, phytochemicals may help prevent disease and keep your body working efficiently. Some researchers suggest that phytochemicals may lower rates of heart disease, certain types of cancer and reduce the severity of cold and flu symptoms. Foods that contain phytochemical are dark green, yellow, and red vegetables and fruits. Other plant-based foods also contain phytonutrients like whole grains, legumes and nuts.

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Unwind

Believe it or not, studies show that relaxing may actually boost your immune system. Equally, stress can weaken your immune system and make you more susceptible to colds and flu. Research suggests that relaxation release more interleukins into your bloodstream. Interleukins are a substance extracted from white blood cells that stimulates immune response that can fight infection or reduce inflammation.


Relax

Just remember not to force relaxation. Being bored or forcing relaxation does not stimulate interleukins. Here are a few ways to help you relax:

  • Take a hot bath
  • Put up your feet
  • Take a walk outdoors
  • Don’t forget to breathe
  • Try moderate stretching
  • Take a yoga or Tai Chi’ class

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Add Germ Fighting Foods to Your Diet

Aside from everyday methods of preventing the flu there are superfoods that may help combat viruses and bacteria. Here are a few:

Ginger: Contains antiviral properties and is known to help fight infections. Make an easy ginger tea by adding freshly peeled and sliced ginger to hot filtered water. Allow the ginger root too steep for 10 minutes. You can also add ginger to numerous meals for extra prevention.


Peppermint: Acts as an expectorant to rid the body of mucus, kills bacteria and viruses, calms and soothes an aching body, breaks up phlegm and relieves coughs and congestion. Peppermint leaf can be consumed as a tea. Peppermint tincture can also be added to an infuser as a decongestant.

Garlic: Fresh garlic is a powerful antiviral, antibacterial and anti-fungal. Garlic is also known to boost the immune system. Fresh raw garlic is the best for optimal health benefits. Instead of chewing it raw which will give you garlic breath for hours try adding it to your meals. Garlic is quite versatile and can be added to just about anything such as soups, casseroles, Mexican food, Italian food, bread and even fresh vegetable juice.

Lemons: High in vitamin C and known to support the immune system. Some studies claim that lemons actually speed up the healing process and lesson your symptoms. Try adding lemon to some herbal tea or mix it with filtered water and raw honey to soothe the throat.

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32 comments

spyroot profile image

spyroot 2 years ago from world

natural way to prevent flu is: 1) improving body resistance

2) exercise: this increases body temperature and metobolic rate

3) anti oxidents: these are natural fiters like garlic in food


mecheshier profile image

mecheshier 2 years ago Author

Hi spyroot. Yes I agree to your feedback 100%. You will find that in post post i have included all that you suggested. Thank you for checking out my Hub.


rebelogilbert profile image

rebelogilbert 2 years ago from Hacienda Heights, California

Good helpful tips, mecheshier!


mecheshier profile image

mecheshier 2 years ago Author

Thank you rebelogilbert. Your feedback is well appreciated.


Genna East profile image

Genna East 2 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

'Tis the season...cases are influenza are especially bad this year, so these helpful hints are important. Thank you. :-)


mecheshier profile image

mecheshier 2 years ago Author

Hi Genna East

Yes, you are absolutely right, tis' the season. Thank you for the great feedback. Regards


teaches12345 profile image

teaches12345 2 years ago

With this advice, one can't help but get better quick. I'm all for rest and getting lots of ginger, lemon, and garlic into the diet to fight the flu.


mecheshier profile image

mecheshier 2 years ago Author

Hi teaches12345 Thank you. I am glad that yo like the post. Yep ginger, lemon and garlic will definitely do the trick.


mperrottet profile image

mperrottet 2 years ago from Pennsauken, NJ

Great tips, and ones that I'll be following. This seems to be a particularly bad flu season. I'm in central Florida right now, and so far there have been five deaths. Voting this up, useful and interesting.


mecheshier profile image

mecheshier 2 years ago Author

Hi mperrottet... Yes, it does seem like a real bad season. Man, that is horrible. Prevention is a must...

Thanks for the votes and the fantastic feedback~ :-)


Suzanne Day profile image

Suzanne Day 2 years ago from Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Some great tips in here. I find that giving up the smokes when I've got the flu always makes a big difference, followed by real lemon and honey teas, real and fresh orange juice and gargling with salt water to kill lurgies in the throat. Voted useful!


mecheshier profile image

mecheshier 2 years ago Author

Hi Suzzane. Yes, I agree with you a 100%, giving up smokes makes a big difference. Lemon and honey is also very good. And how could I forget oranges. :-) TY for the heads up and wonderful feedback


oldiesmusic profile image

oldiesmusic 2 years ago from United States

This is quite timely for this cold season. I have caught this illness twice already in such a short span, though they were brief. Thank you for your helpful hub. :)


mecheshier profile image

mecheshier 2 years ago Author

Hi oldiesmusic

Thank you for stopping by. I am glad tat you found the post helpful. Sounds like you have had quite the spell of sickness this season. Hopefully a few preventive measures will keep the bugs away for the rest of the year!


shai77 profile image

shai77 2 years ago

Wow, great hub. I did not know that you could prevent the flu with exercise. I always figured it was a virus, and if you are going to get it there's not much you can do about it. These are great tips to employ during the flu season, it can be so bad. Nice hub!


mecheshier profile image

mecheshier 2 years ago Author

Thank you shai77 for the great kudos. I remember when I worked in the woods. The work was very physical and sometimes the weather extreme. I never got sick, ever. I am sure it is because of the exercise and and fresh air.


VioletteRose profile image

VioletteRose 2 years ago from Chicago

These are great tips, I love to stick onto natural things as much as possible. Since my toddler started his preschool, cold and flu has become a recurring problem for both of my kids.


mecheshier profile image

mecheshier 2 years ago Author

Hi VioletteRose

Thanks you. Yes, school sure does breed the germs. I do hope that my suggestions help.


DDE profile image

DDE 2 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

One can prevent surely prevent the flu with ally our suggestions above all I prefer the washing of hands and fresh garlic eaten with food keeps the flu at bay.


mecheshier profile image

mecheshier 2 years ago Author

Hi DDE

Yes, those are my favorites as well.


mochirajackson profile image

mochirajackson 2 years ago from Liverpool, United Kingdom

Great hub, mecheshirer. Voted up! I had flu just after Christmas and I know it was because I was under lots of stress and didn't make time to relax properly. I also substituted my fresh fruit for the fruit inside mince pies and Christmas cake! I know that doesn't count!

Thanks for sharing x


mecheshier profile image

mecheshier 2 years ago Author

Hi mochirajackson 5

It sounds like you were pretty sick, especially since you had to substitute fresh fruit for the fruit inside mince pies. YES, it does count. Every little bit helps.

Thanks for the votes! :-)


WannaB Writer profile image

WannaB Writer 2 years ago from Templeton, CA

I take a lot of herbs year round to keep my immune system up. One, Ambrotose, is from an MLM company, and I've used it for 20 years now. I also take astragalus. I rarely get seriously ill. As the first symptoms appear, I go into drinking lots of fluids, increasing herbal protection, and rest mode. I usually knock things out pretty fast this way.


mecheshier profile image

mecheshier 2 years ago Author

Hi WannaB Writer

I have never heard of Ambrotose. However, I am familiar with astragalus. I am also an herbalist. Thanks for your great feedback.


billybuc profile image

billybuc 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

I'm a big advocate for natural remedies AND precaution. I rarely get sick and haven't had the flu for five years. I exercise, eat right and....keep a positive attitude, which I think is so important. Well done here; great suggestions.


mecheshier profile image

mecheshier 2 years ago Author

Hi billybuc

Yes, attitude and positive thinking are also important. Thank you for the Kudos!


VioletteRose profile image

VioletteRose 2 years ago from Chicago

This is an excellent hub with so many useful tips to deal with cold and flu. You are very much right about the problem on covering mouth with hand during cough and sneeze, this is something that always puzzled me whenever I have seen an advice to do so!


mecheshier profile image

mecheshier 2 years ago Author

Hi VioletteRose

Yes, it puzzles me as well. TY for the great feeback


torrilynn profile image

torrilynn 2 years ago

Natural ways to prevent the flu are great. Thanks for the tips.


mecheshier profile image

mecheshier 2 years ago Author

You're welcome torrilynn. Thanks for stopping by


Purpose Embraced profile image

Purpose Embraced 2 years ago from Jamaica

These are great tips, thanks for writing this hub. I use most of the natural foods you mentioned, but I need to exercise more.


mecheshier profile image

mecheshier 2 years ago Author

Hi Purpose Embraced

Thanks for stopping by. I am glad that you found the Hub useful. Hey, if you start slowly with exercise, before you know you will be walking a mile or two a day.

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