Does anyone know what the Six P’s stand for? They stand for a life lesson you won’t forget… Proper Planning Prevents Piss Poor Performance. Yup, it’s that simple. Now lets apply it!
Fall is here! The leaves are changing, the nights are getting colder, and everyone starts to get the sniffles. Also known as (drum roll please)… Flu season!! Yippee??… Ugh, not so much.
There are a couple different approaches to proper prevention Some people believe in getting flu vaccinations.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says that approximately 55% of Americans do not get flu shots—and that getting one is the easiest way to prevent getting sick. Early estimates show that flu shots are about 60% effective this year, again according to the CDC. So while you may get a flu shot, you can still get the flu. This method is most recommended for young children and elderly people, due to their increased risk.
Another approach is the supplemental approach. Here are a few suggestions and how they help fight off the bad guys.
Vitamin C- Greatly enhances the immune system’s ability to fight infections of many kinds.
Zinc- Plays an important role in maintaining healthy immune function. Low levels of zinc are associated with a decrease in T cell function, a vital white blood cell that helps fight infections.
Vitamin A- Is also associated with T cell function, making it a vital component of a healthy immune system. Vitamin A maintains the integrity of mucus membranes, which are at the front line of our defenses against viral, bacterial, and parasitic infections.
Elderberry- Research demonstrates that elderberry extract has particular immune-modulating and antioxidant properties that neutralize the activity of viruses so they can no longer enter the cell and replicate. The berries also contain vitamins A and C, and the flavonoids quercetin, anthocyanin and rutin, all of which boost immune function.
Larch arbinogalactans (I cant pronounce it either)- Larch arabinogalactans are polysaccharides derived from the wood of the Western larch tree. These polysaccharides stimulate the immune system to fend off infections. They have been studied and shown effective in adults, as well as children, which makes it a great choice for keeping the whole family healthy through the flu season. (Have fun getting your kids to eat that)!
Echinacea- Also has the immune stimulating polysaccharides that give it an important role in naturopathic antiviral treatments. These polysaccharides naturally enhance the body’s resistance to infection.
Phew… That was a lot, right? Are we learning anything yet? Well we aren’t done! Not only do we need to protect our bodies from the inside out but also from the outside in.
Lifestyle tips for the prevention and treatment of the flu:
Sleep- Maintaining a balanced sleep routine is one way to keep our immune system healthy. Adults need 7 to 9 hours of sleep each night to rejuvenate for the next day. Consistent inadequate sleep lowers the body’s defenses needed for fighting viral infections.
Stress- While stress is a part of everyday life; excessive stress can decrease immune function and make it easier to come down with the flu. Make stress your friend with management techniques like deep breathing, exercise, yoga or meditation can help ensure that every day stress won’t leave you vulnerable to the flu.
Diet- A diet rich in fruits, vegetables and quality proteins is a foundation for a healthy immune system. Studies have shown that eating a sugary snack or meal can depress the immune system for several hours, creating a window of time during which it is easier to get the flu. Avoiding excessive sugar can keep the immune system working at the level needed to fend off viral infections, like the flu. Also remember the animals most linked with the flu virus are horses, ducks, and pigs!
All of this demonstrates Prevention thanks to Proper Planning Nobody wants their immune system to perform poorly come flu season. So good luck!