Tag Archives: flu

Foods that Fight Flu

17 May

In our article 13 Ways to Avoid Colds & Flu we mentioned some foods that are great flu fighters. Get your science caps on, because here are the reasons why!

Yogurt

Yoghurt is well-known for its pro-biotic qualities. The key ingredient in preventing flu is Lactobacillus reutri, a pro-biotic that stimulates the white blood cells to fight infection. In a Swedish study, workers who took Lactobacillus reutri were 33% less likely to get sick! So when you buy your next tub of yoghurt, be sure to look for one that has Lactobacillus acidophilus, Bifidus and L. rhamnosus.

Garlic

Garlic has several infection-fighting compounds, including allicin, which fights bacteria and acts as a decongestant. Garlic is also believed to act as an antioxidant and destroy free-radicals – the active oxygen molecules that damage cells. Studies have shown that people who take a daily garlic capsule or 12 weeks are two-thirds less likely to catch a cold or flu. And if they did catch a cold, they had it for 3 ½ days less. You don’t need to take this as a supplement. It’s more effective, and a lot tastier, in its food form. It is recommended that you have 1 – 3 cloves of cooked garlic in your food every day.

garlic_food that fights flu

Mushrooms

Mushrooms contain 300 compounds (including beta-glucan) that increase immunity and the production of infection-fighting white blood cells. Shiitake, maitake, and reishi mushrooms are the best immune boosters, but regular mushrooms will do the trick too.

Fatty Fish

Salmon, tuna, mackerel, herring, and other fatty fish contain omega-3 fatty acids. The two main forms of omega-3, DHA and EPA, benefit the immune system by absorbing nutrients and removing toxins. The acids also increase activity of phagocytes — cells that “eat up” bacteria.

Citrus Fruits

Citrus fruits increase your vitamin C intake. It is recommended that fresh fruit should be eaten on an empty stomach (preferably about 30 minutes before breakfast) to receive the full benefits. The fruit acts as a cleanser and helps rid the body of unnecessary toxins. Grapefruits, tangerines, oranges, lemons, limes and naartjies are examples of great citrus fruits that you can to add to a meal.

citrus fruit_food that fights flu

Sweet Potatoes

Sweet potato are one of the most nutritional vegetables. They boast potassium, vitamins A and C, and calcium – all helpful in staying healthy and fighting off cold and flu symptoms.

Brazil Nuts and Almonds

Nuts in general are healthy, but brazil nuts and almonds are great immune boosters! Brazil nuts contain an antioxidant called selenium, and almonds are rich in vitamin E.

Black tea

A Harvard study shows that drinking 5 cups of black tea a day for 2 weeks will turn your immune system T cells into “Hulk Cells” producing 10 times more interferon – a protein that fights colds and flu. You may be glad to know that Green tea works just as well; and you can still enjoy the benefits without drinking as many as 5 cups a day!

Already have a cold or flu?

We don’t have a natural miracle cure, but we can suggest some more healing foods that will boost your immune system and ease some of your symptoms!

chicken soup_food that fights flu

  1. Chicken Soup helps clear clogged airways and will give you vital energy. Add plenty of veggies and garlic for extra nourishment!
  2. Hot and spicy food like horseradish, chilli and spicy sauces can help ease congestion.
  3. Fresh ginger root can soothe coughs, sore throats and fever. Try making ginger tea by adding boiling water to 2 tablespoons of grated ginger and let it brew for 5-10 minutes.
  4. Honey can help suppress your cough and has been known to stop the growth of bacteria. Add some to hot water or a lightly brewed tea.
  5. Vitamin C isn’t only found in citrus fruit. Other foods that are high in vitamin C include green peppers, potatoes, strawberries and pineapple.
  6. Fluids. Stay hydrated with plenty of liquids, especially water and pure fruit juices. Hot beverages like chamomile or peppermint herbal tea, or hot water with a slice of lemon work well too.

 
Remember

A daily routine of skipped meals, lots of caffeine, high-fat and high-sugar junk foods can make you more susceptible colds and flu. So make your diet a priority and eat plenty of whole grains, fruit, vegetables and low-fat protein to strengthen your immune system.

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Avoid the Flu this Winter – Get Vaccinated!

17 May

flu vaccinationIt’s that time of year when we salvage our heaters from storage and abandon our flip-flops for toe socks. Winter is fast approaching and along with it those ghastly snot bugs, ferocious fevers and headaches from hell; all thanks to common colds and flu!

Although often confused with the common cold, flu is a contagious disease caused by the influenza virus, and it can be deadly! Every year up to 10% of adults and 30% of children catch the flu. It’s highly contagious and spreads through coughing, sneezing, and hand-to-hand contact; infecting the nose, throat, sinuses, upper airways and lungs. Although some cases of the flu can be very mild, it can prove to be fatal for babies, toddlers, the elderly and people with underlying health issues. Not something to be ignored!

Children are especially prone to picking up viruses because their little bodies have not developed the kind of immunities that adults have. Children in crèche and school under the age of 12 are the most likely to get flu. And when they catch it, they bring it straight back home to their families…every mom’s nightmare! Closed communities, such as homes for the elderly, university campuses and military bases, are also prone to outbreaks that run their course over a few weeks.

You’ve heard it before: Prevention Is Better Than Cure.

So how can you protect your family against flu and the common cold this winter? The easiest and most effective way is for your entire family to receive a flu vaccine (yes moms and dads, you too!). Making a quick visit to your local pharmacy, hospital, clinic or GP could be the smartest thing you do this year. And every year for that matter! Even for the healthiest person. Why? Because the flu virus strains are constantly changing. Each year, before flu season, the most recent circulating viruses are identified by the World Health Organisation (WHO) and are included in a new vaccine formula that offers the best protection. And with the onset of the Swine Flu in the last few years, you’ll be glad to know that the flu vaccine will protect you against that ghastly H1N1 virus!

If you’re worried about scary side effects, don’t be! Flu vaccines are safe and generally well tolerated. The vaccine will not give you the flu. The vaccine is made up of small inactive, non-infectious particles of the season’s flu virus, which merely alert the body to the threat of the virus. In that way, your body makes antibodies and builds up its own immunity against the circulating flu viruses. The most common reaction to the vaccine is just a mild soreness at the site of the injection.

Did you know that people considered to be in high-risk groups can get their flu vaccinations for free from government clinics or hospitals? Now you do!

The high-risk groups include:

  • Pregnant women (past their first trimester)
  • People over 65 years of age;
  • People with chronic heart disease, diabetes or chronic lung disease, especially asthmatics
  • People living with HIV/Aids or other reduced immune system related conditions

PLEASE NOTE there are people who should NOT have the flu vaccine, which includes:

  • Babies under the age of 6 months
  • Women in their first trimester of pregnancy
  • People who are allergic to eggs, because the vaccine is grown in hens’ eggs.

So what are you waiting for? Avoid the headache of having headaches, bins full of snotty tissues and fuzzy days out of action. Do the smart thing and visit your local pharmacy, hospital, clinic or GP today! Prevention really is better than cure!!

You can get your flu vaccine at Baby Guardian Vaccination Clinic.

Contact Sr. Andrea to book an appointment.

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