Updated: Mar 3
How do you prepare your health to avoid the flu?
Some have the flu vaccination, and others wonder if they should get the vaccination.
Now matter what season or latest virus getting around, It’s never too late to work on boosting you immune system with many tricks I have up my sleeve!
If we listen to our GP – the flu shot is a definite for everyone!
If we listen to a holistic health practitioner (who treats a person’s whole health and focuses on prevention first) the answer depends on what state your health is currently in? Remember most of your immune system 'lives' in your gut so we advise to strengthen your gut health as your first port of call! Obviously if your immune system is strong, you're more likely to avoid illness.
If you’re freaked out by media scares on the flu (and now the Corona Virus) I invite you to be aware that the media is geared to create fear among our society. Sadly.
As Dr Mark Hyman says:
Most deaths that we hear about on the news are only associated with the flu via contraction of pneumonia and its influence on existing medical conditions. The flu’s mortality rate itself is much less common-in fact, more people die each year from malnutrition than from the flu!
We aren’t told that these things below are in the flu vaccination!
Egg proteins: Including avian contaminant viruses
Formaldehyde: Known carcinogen
Thimerosal: Mercury-based preservative
Other heavy metals such as aluminum: Known neurotoxin
Sugar: The essence of all inflammatory disease
Triton X100: A detergent
Other additives known to cause allergic reactions
These are certainly not things I’m happy to be injecting into my body! The biggest worry is the preservative ‘thimerosal’ which contains mercury.
We know that exposure to mercury leads to systemic health problems such as neurological dysfunction (memory loss, confusion, inability to concentrate) to depression, renal failure, skin troubles and gastrointestinal disturbances (one of the biggest health complaints in my private practice today.)
The facts are, the influenza vaccines is not completely effective. It’s hardly even ‘mostly effective.’ It just may provide moderate protection and that is all!
The flu vaccination works 24 – 60% of the time. It will take 10–14 days for your body to develop immunity to the stains you’re exposed to in the vaccine. Meaning, if you’ve already been exposed, it may not help.
Instead, these are the questions we should ask ourselves:
Why do we get the flu in the first place? Why is our immune system low in the first place? What changes can we make in order to prevent illness now and in the future?
Why confuse ourselves about the pros and cons of a vaccine’s worth, safety, and availability when we have so much we can do to prevent the flu and other diseases in the future?
Easy ways to boost your own immunity
An ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure.
1. Checking in on habits you’ve acquired over the years that don’t really serve you. 2. Using some little tricks to make your poor old immune system feel nourished. 3. Using some little trick to actually boost your immune system and fire it up!
1. habits that work against us
When we’re not in optimal health, our immune system struggle.
Things like chronic stress, digestive distress, poor diet, the habit of putting everyone first before your own well being or other lifestyle habits – e.g. too much sugar, alcohol and/or smoking.
This is a great time to get honest with ourselves (difficult but necessary) where we can do a Spring clean of all the little habits we’ve picked up over the last decade, that we know doesn’t serve us anymore.
Here’s a little starting point:
Aim to get as much sleep before 2am as possible i.e go to bed early. The sleep you get at this time, is deeper and more restorative than sleep after 2am.
Get a simple blood test to check you zinc status, vitamin D levels, iron, B12 and supplement with good quality supplements if you need to.
Eat plenty of green leafy vegetables which contain protective compounds.
Implement stress reducing tools into your day e.g. yoga, walks in nature.
Sort any digestive issues (your immune system mostly lives in your gut. Work out what your triggers are and heal your gut with specific foods.
2. Little tricks to nourish your immunity
There are specific things you can do to nourish yourself rather than leaving yourself deficient and open to sickness.
Truth is, the food we eat these days doesn’t have the same nutrient levels as they once did, due to deficient soils (highly farmed and treated) and the length of time (3 months for fresh food) the food then sits on our supermarket shelves.
Additionally mainstream supermarket food is sprayed with chemicals for pest protection. This then inhibits our own health!
Your overall health largely depend on your nutrient stores.
Here are 3 really important tests to have. I recommend having an annual blood test for your general health (and then another follow up test!)
– Zinc Status: (Zinc is your ‘healing’ nutrient.) – Vitamin D: (An immunity regulator.) – Iron Studies Panel: (iron gives you an adequate immune response.)
3. Don’t be afraid to get herbal at home!
Immune boosting herbal blends help kick your immune system into a higher gear, yet if used for more than 2 weeks at a time, it can be depleting. So educate yourself from trustworthy sources or seek advice.
You could try these herbals:
Maca/Ashwagandha – these are calming adaptogen herbs, which increase our ‘tolerance’ to stress. Remember stress decreases our immune system, which is why we get sick when we burn the candle at both ends! These are best taken as a powder in a smoothie or in combine it in a lovely pea protein shake or smoothie.
Tulsi – helps you build your immunity, but also has a host of antimicrobial and antiviral qualities in its own right. Can be most easily enjoyed as a tea. Buy online or at a health food store.
Astragalus – a Traditional Chinese Medicine, herb, its root is used in healing soups. It’s also easy to add into stews as a pleasant tasting powder into a smoothie or warmed almond milk and cacao powder (hot chocolate.)
Medicinal mushrooms (especially shitake) – All mushrooms to an extent are nourishing for the immune system and have antiviral functions. Shitake mushrooms have a meaty texture, which you can easily find at a health food store or online. I throw them into soups and broths and they really bulk up a soup!
3. Little tricks to boost your immune system
Remember the below are great ‘spot treatments’ but never replace long term natural health improvements ,where you build your strength and balance over time. Seek advice on your correct dosages of the below:
Echinacea – Echinacea strengthens the entire immune system. You can buy a great herbal which you add a few drops to your water ever day.
Elderberries – I make an elderberry syrup to take every day, which is very good for boosting your immunity. This is great for kids or adults who don’t like the taste of echinacea, which is a bit bitey on the tongue.
Broths – Similar to a stock and made with bones (beef, lamb or chicken) and cooked for much longer (24-36 hours) to extract the immune boosting and gut healing minerals from the bones. Try this recipe!
So there’s a nice little start to help you with your own very precious immune system.
Regardless of ‘flu season’ or not not – our immune and general health is an absolute priority in order for us to live our life fully.
You deserve to have your best health.
If you’d like help in any area of your health, you could book a health consultation via Skype or come and see me in my clinic in Townsville.
Or you could join Gut School, my online health program where I take your through 5 steps to heal your gut and your immune!