A Functional Medicine Approach To Protect Against the Flu
The flu season is upon us, and this year more than ever, it is vital to take steps to protect yourself and your family now. The most vulnerable people are those with chronic conditions such as diabetes, asthma, heart disease, obesity, and a weakened immune system. The best way to protect yourself is to build resilience before the flu season hits by applying a functional medicine whole-body approach.
A functional medicine approach treats the whole body by looking for imbalances in the body. Functional medicine uses a systems-oriented approach to bring the body back into balance to protect health and prevent illness.
Adopting good health habits are key to assist in building a healthy immune system. Basic things such as sleep, exercise, and meditation all have shown benefit in preventing the flu.
The best way to protect against illness is to optimize wellness by maintaining a sufficient nutrient status. Eat lots of fresh veggies, low sugar fruits, good protein, and healthy fats. Remember to drink plenty of clean water and add in green tea. It is important to decrease the simple carbohydrates and minimize alcohol and caffeine intake.
Good handwashing techniques are key to prevent catching the flu and spreading it to our loved ones. This includes always wash your hands immediately when returning home from being out. Removing your shoes at the door is another way of keeping those unwanted bugs out.
Stress can directly affect the immune system, so it is essential to find activities to de-stress and do them routinely. A few activities to help you de-stress include good quality sleep (8 hours uninterrupted), meditation, exercise, and having fun.
However, the flu is upon us, and it is predicted to be a rough flu season with the current COVID-19 pandemic. Here are some ‘MUST-DO-NOWs to protect against and treat for the flu. At the onset of the flu season, boost your immune system by taking vitamin D, vitamin C, omega-3 fatty fish oils, probiotics, and immune-boosting polysaccharides such as white button top mushrooms.
If you do unfortunately come down with the flu, some treatment options to consider are berberine, Echinacea, and elderberry extract. Zinc can be used locally as a spray or lozenges for its antimicrobial effect (kills on contact). Drink lots of homemade broth, either bone or veggie, with added garlic. For more information, please call Compassionate Healthcare Associates, 661.295.7777.
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