Flu season is coming. It typically ranges from December through February, but can stick around until as late as May. Are you looking for a natural flu shot remedy?
The bad news is, there’s no one stop shot to protect you from all strains of the flu. The good news is, there are a variety of natural flu shot alternatives that can help you avoid getting sick.
Already have the flu? Use these treatments to help your body heal quickly.
Because according to the Center for Disease Control:
[The flu] places a substantial burden on the health of people in the United States: millions of people become ill, hundreds of thousands are hospitalized and thousands or tens of thousands of people die from flu every year.
Make a Full Night’s Rest a Priority
Researchers from the University of San Francisco, Carnegie Mellon University, and University of Pittsburgh Medical Center studied how sleep affects the body’s ability to stay healthy. The result is not surprising. After exposing 164 healthy men and women to the common cold, they found when you sleep more, you sneeze less.
Why does sleep play an essential role in the efficiency of your immune system? Because sleep is when your body’s organs – particularly your brain – are able to repair and reorganize their cells.
Van Savage from Harvard Medical School and Geoffrey West from Santa Fe Institute in New Mexico findings which suggest the most critical of repairs to your brain happen while you’re asleep.
The brain controls your body’s functions. These include everything from reading and urinating to cell reproduction and appetite control. When your brain isn’t operating at its peak, it takes longer to process each function. This can make it take longer to do a variety of necessary things like heal and fight off a virus (aka the flu).
Long story short – if you want to know what to do to prevent flu the answer is – get some sleep.
How to Get a Good Night’s Sleep
- Establish a Routine – Set a bedtime for yourself and stick to it. We’re creatures of habit. The more consistent you can make your routine, the easier it will be for your body to naturally go to sleep.
- Turn off the Lights – We’re not just talking about your bedside lamp. We’re talking everything. The T.V. The nightlight. The glow from your digital clock. Turn them all off. Any light can make it difficult to fall asleep and stay asleep. Obviously, you don’t want to unplug your alarm clock, but consider covering it with a dark cloth to block the light. It’s also wise to invest in blackout curtains to keep any daylight or ambient street light from interrupting your sleep schedule.
- Wear Socks – In 1999, a Swiss study revealed those who went to bed with warm hands and feet were able to fall asleep more quickly and stay asleep.
- Skip the Nightcap – Sure, a drink before bed might help you unwind and fall asleep more quickly. Unfortunately, that sleep is likely to be less restful. This is because alcohol is a stimulant.
- Turn on a White Noise Machine – Noise can be a huge sleep thief. Unfortunately, noise is often out of your control. A white noise machine can help you combat unwanted sounds from keeping you awake.
Drink WAY More Water Than You Think You Need
When it comes to the question of how to prevent the flu naturally, H2O is always a good way to go. While most of us know we should drink water, the vast majority of us don’t. According to CBS, “75 percent of Americans may be function in a chronic state of dehydration.”
This can lead to a myriad of health-related issues including weight gain, joint pain, and immune deficiency. Generally, it’s recommended the average adult drink eight to ten 8-ounce glasses of water daily.
How to Drink More Water
- Infuse It – Finding plain water plain boring? Give it a natural, healthy flavor punch. Infuse your water with fruits and herbs to turn your everyday necessity into a treat.
- Always Carry a Water Bottle – The easier it is to access water, the more likely you are to drink it.
- Drink a Glass After Your Bathroom Break – Took a trip to the loo? Drink a glass of water. Making this a regular routine can help you increase your daily intake and stay hydrated.
Eat a Vitamin-Rich Diet
Your body is a machine. The better the fuel you give it, the better it will perform. A vitamin-rich diet is one of the best natural remedies to prevent the flu. It helps you give your body the key nutrients you need to operate at your peak. Try and make your plate as colorful as possible. Load it with fruits and vegetables.
During the fall, pomegranates and sweet potatoes offer a great source of Vitamin C. Cauliflower, kale and Brussel sprouts are also loaded with vitamins, fiber and minerals your body needs. Look to nuts and avocado for a healthy source of fat.
The key is to avoid the dense foods that weigh you down (like chicken wings and pastries) and focus on the healthy foods which boost your body’s immune system.
4 Immune Boosting Recipes
- Sweet Potato Fries with Avocado Dipping Sauce
- Strawberry Pineapple Popsicles
- Fall Sweet Potato and Beet Bowl
- Balsamic Brussels Sprout Slaw
Immune Boosting Shots
Boosting your immune system is one of the top natural flu shot alternatives. But, boosting your immune system means giving your body the vitamins and nutrients it needs to function.
Even the healthiest of diets rarely provide a body the optimal levels of vitamins and nutrients it needs to function. Why? Because the digestive system isn’t perfect. And, for the majority of the population, it’s woefully inefficient. According to nutrition specialist Monica Reinagel, you could be absorbing as little as 10% of any given food you eat.
Why is this an issue? Because as the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Disease explain, digestion is how your body “[breaks] down food into nutrients, which the body uses for energy, growth, and cell repair.”
This same process is used for anything you consume orally, meaning many of the expensive supplements you’re consuming could just be an expensive trip to the bathroom.
Luckily, you can bypass the digestive system and give your body the key nutrients it needs. B12 shots and Vitamin IV drips are natural ways to avoid the flu. They boost your body’s immune system, helping you fight off any virus you encounter. As a natural flu shot alternative, they can be administered efficiently while providing no risk to contracting the virus.
Additionally, if you do contract the flu, B12 shots and Vitamin IV drips can help you fight flu symptoms and recover more quickly.
The flu is going around your office and you feel like you may be getting sick? Consider working from home. Working from home can often allow your body to get the extra rest needed to fight off the virus. It can also help you from getting re-exposed to germs while your immune system is compromised.
Additionally, when you’re out and about this time of year, remember to always wash your hands. Avoid touching your face and/or rubbing your eyes. And, consider carrying some hand sanitizer with you. (The Wellness Mama has a great DIY recipe for natural hand sanitizer.)
From handshakes to faucets, sometimes coming into contact with germs is unavoidable. The key is to try and mitigate those instances as much as possible.
Cold and Flu Prevention Tips for the Workplace
- Avoid Hugs – Have a touchy-feely co-worker? Skip the hug. And, skip the handshakes while you’re at it. Just be sure to make a polite comment (and maybe a chuckle) about trying to avoid the flu.
- Sit on the Opposite Side of the Room – Is someone coughing and sneezing up a storm? Stay away from them. Try and position yourself on the opposite side of the room to avoid coming into contact.
- Avoid Door Knobs – When possible, avoid touching items others regularly touch. This includes doorknobs and elevator buttons. You can carry tissues to use when opening doors and dispose of them when done.
- Try not to Touch Your Face – The idea is simple: germs will most likely get on your hands. You want to keep those germs as far from your face as possible.
- Skip Communal Bowls – Everyone is grabbing snacks from the same bowl? Take a pass. All those hands in one place means there will inevitably be germs.
Let Your Body Heal Completely
So, you got sick. And it sucks. How do you get better fast? A good place to start is sleep. Not only is sleep a great natural flu prevention remedy – it’s a fabulous way to relieve flu symptoms.
But beyond sleep, a healthy diet, B12 injections and Vitamin IV drips – one of the best natural ways to prevent flu is to let your body heal completely. We see this all too often. Ladies and gents start feeling a little better, and all of a sudden are back to their daily grind.
Unfortunately, their body’s not ready. This can cause symptoms to flare and the illness to be prolonged. If you’re sick – drink a bunch of water. Eat tons of vitamin-rich food. And sleep like it’s you job until you’re completely healed.
Additional Tips for Staying Healthy
A B12 shot should only be administered after you’ve discussed your full medical history with a medical professional who determines it would be beneficial to your health.
Rather than wage war on an illness after it’s reared its ugly head, throw up the best defense available – a strong immune system!
From tasty game day snacks like sweet potato fries to vitamin rich fall friendly dishes, our collection of healthy paleo vegan recipes are loaded with flavor.
Naturopathic health care with compassionate integrative doctors who understand your unique medical needs.