Everyone encounters the flu at some point. If you’ve been lucky enough to avoid it up until this point, its only a matter of time before the inevitable occurs, and you wake up with aches and pains, feeling completely miserable. The flu makes you feel like you’ve been run over by a bulldozer. The fever and fatigue that come along with it are unbearable. But how much do you actually know about the flu? There are ways to prevent it, but when it comes to the flu, most people are misinformed.
People who have experienced the flu’s wrath, fear it. Yet according to a recent survey from the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases, most people misunderstand flu treatment and prevention. While people believe that hand-washing is the best protection against the flu, the flu-vaccine is actually the best way to prevent the flu. One of the biggest misconceptions about flu prevention is that the flu vaccine can actually give you the flu. False! Polish up on these
top tips for flu prevention:
- Get vaccinated!: The absolute best way to prevent yourself and the ones around you from the flu, is to get the flu vaccine. You CANNOT get the flu from the vaccine despite what many people think. It’s never too late to get vaccinated, so no excuses!
- Focus on prevention: The flu is actually contagious before symptoms start. You may have been in contact with the flu, and not even know it, or have it and not even be aware that you’re spreading it to those around you. Make sure that you follow hygienic practices to ensure that you don’t spread it. Always sneeze, cough, and blow your nose into tissues. Make sure you toss them to the bin immediately, don’t let them pile up. Make sure to also disinfect the areas around you. If you’ve touched something public like an elevator button, sanitize your hands before touching your eyes or anything that will be going into your mouth.
- Wash your hands: What’s the most important sanitary practice for flu prevention? Hand-washing of course! This doesn’t mean running your hands under water for 2 seconds and calling it a day. Rinse your hands, lather them up, and then scrub them for a good twenty seconds. Don’t forget to wash under the nails!
- Recognize your systems: Flu symptoms may seem similar to cold systems, but it is definitely possible to differentiate them. If you can tell the difference between a flu and cold from the get-go, you’ll get better much more quickly, and prevent spreading it to all of the loved ones around you. The onset of the flu is much quicker than that of a cold, and the flu lasts longer. Those plagued by the flu also suffer from sore throat, cough, fever, fatigue and body aches.
Don’t underestimate the power of food to keep you healthy and strong. Another way to prevent the flu is to ensure that you’re in overall good health, and you’re immune strong is pumped up and ready to fight off anything that it might encounter. You can do this by eating these
5 Flu Fighting Foods!:
- Raw Garlic: Raw garlic is both a flu fighter, and a superfood. It contains the compounds allion and allicin which have direct antiviral effects. If you feel the flu coming on, chew a raw clove of garlic three or four hours to prevent a full-blown flu onset. If raw garlic’s taste is too pungent, toss some into a stir-fry or warm soup.
- Onions: Onions also contain allion and allicin. Consume a serving of raw onion every few hours to get the full effect. If raw onion isn’t your cup of tea, try some on top of a salad for a more subtle flavor.
- Spices: Spices are packed to the brim with antioxidants which help improve function of the immune system, especially spices like turmeric, cinnamon and cloves. Try to consume a teaspoon of spices every day to keep the flu at bay. You can mix cinnamon into baked apples or oatmeal, or enjoy some ethnic chicken flavored with turmeric. If you’re already feeling the flu symptoms, mix cinnamon, coriander and powdered ginger into hot water and sip it slowly to help relieve your symptoms.
- Berries: Berries are very rich in antioxidants, which are key to fighting off the flu virus, especially blueberries. These little blue delights aren’t difficult to take down. Try to eat one serving (1/2) cup of fresh berries every day during the flu season to help you stay healthy. If you don’t have access to fresh berries, frozen ones will do as well.
- Chicken soup: You may have thought your grandma was nagging you as she tried to pour down your throat at the first site of the flu, but it turns out grandma was right. Soup works to ward off viruses. Researchers believe that hot soup raises the temperature in the nose and throat, thereby creating an unwelcoming environment for viruses. Choose chicken soup, as chicken itself boasts flu-fighting properties. You can make a big batch of chicken soup and keep some in the freezer, that way all you have to do is warm it up once the fatigue starts to hit you.