Flu season is upon us, but that’s no reason to race to the doctor’s and go under the needle. The history of the flu shot is riddled with controversy—including links to narcolepsy and the deadly nerve disease Guillain-Barre Syndrome. You’ll be safer and healthier by choosing natural methods to fight off the flu. There are tons of ways to boost your immune system and prevent getting sick; if you want to know how to prevent a cold and the flu naturally, eat these 5 foods regularly.
How to Prevent a Cold and the Flu – Garlic
The Greeks knew to use garlic to support their health—even their athletic performance before competitions in the Olympic games. Garlic may help prevent cancer and common infections and illnesses better than antibiotics, and its chemical compound allicin has antiviral properties that may help stave off the influenza virus. Although raw foods are often most potent, you can simply add chopped or diced garlic to dishes to harness the power of this pungent food. Garlic benefits are absolutely amazing, and should not be overlooked by anyone looking to be healthy.
Native to China, this herb protects your liver and lets it more efficiently remove toxins from your body. Adding to the astragalus benefits, author Phyllis Balch (“Prescription for Nutritional Healing”) says taking astragalus supplements supports your immune system so it can fight off the flu. Be sure to avoid counteracting drugs—like immune-suppressants after organ transplants—while taking astragalus supplements.
Do you really want to know how to prevent a cold and the flu? Consume vitamin C. This is a no-brainer: vitamin C may give your immune system the boost it needs during flu season. As a bonus, the antioxidants in vitamin C-rich foods scavenge free radicals in your body while the vitamins protect your liver. (One of the best things you can do for your liver, in fact, is to start the day off with a glass of water and lemon juice!) Search for the following foods at the grocery store or farmers’ market to get loads of vitamin C: kiwi, grapefruit, watercress, alfalfa, strawberries, oranges, and pineapples.
Also native to China, this herb may improve blood flow. Keeping in mind that it’s our blood that carries nutrients to our cells, ginkgo will be a useful tool for your anti-flu arsenal. This substance has also been shown to help memory, tinnitus, Alzheimer’s, and eye problems.
The good old sunshine vitamin can slash your risk of getting the flu by 42 percent—a greater track record than the highly controversial H1N1 flu shot. According to Bruce Hollis from the Medical University of South Carolina, a fair-skinned woman should spend 10 to 15 minutes without sunscreen in peak sunlight (in the summer) to get optimal levels of vitamin D, especially if they are pregnant (since vitamin D is essential for fetal brain development).
No need to pay money to get toxic pricks in the arm this season. You can fight off the flu naturally—without harmful side effects. Remember to tell everyone who doesn’t know how to prevent a cold and the flu to consume these foods.