What can you do to avoid or reduce symptoms of the flu?
The "Flu Season" is upon us. Although it is recommended to avoid large crowds and to engage in frequent hand washing, there are a few more things that can be done to help your body and immune system fight!
One of the best ways to prevent any type of illness is to build up your immune system. But how can you do that?
One great way to improve and maintain your immune system is to get regular adjustments with your chiropractor.
Dr. Phillip Shaw D.C. says, “There is significant research on the connection between the nervous system and the immune system, specifically through the adrenal glands and the hormones and chemicals that relay messages from the nervous system to the cells of the immune system. Chiropractic adjustments remove subluxations, which prevent proper communication in the nervous system. By improving your brain and body connection, you are giving your body the best advantage against a cold or flu.”
Chiropractic as flu prevention may seem like a new idea, but, in fact, chiropractic has been helpful in preventing the flu for a long time. During the 1918 flu pandemic chiropractors found that their patients were surviving the flu at a much higher rate than medical doctors.
According to Family Health Chiropractic, Medical statistics in Davenport, Iowa, detailed 4,953 cases of flu were treated by 50 medical doctors. 274 of those patients perished from the virus. Approximately 150 Chiropractors and Chiropractic students cared for 1,635 patients with the flu; only one death occurred. 9.2 percent of flu cases that sought medical attention died during this terrible season. Only one-fourth of one percent (.0025 percent) of patients receiving Chiropractic adjustments died during the pandemic. Chiropractic patients experienced approximately 1/40th of the death rate experienced by those patients seeking medical intervention!
More recently it was found that, over the course of three years, people who had been under chiropractic care for five years or more had a 200% greater immune competence than those who were not under any sort of chiropractic care.
Another great way to boost your immune system is to make sure you are getting adequate nutrition. It is important for you to get all of the proper vitamins and minerals, and getting them from food. Whole food nutrition trumps supplements almost always.
When you eat real food, such as an orange, you will get the vitamin c you need, but you also are giving your body magnesium, potassium, folate, vitamin B-6, and antioxidants. Your body was created to absorb nutrients from food, and when incorporating a diverse amount of fruits and vegetables your body has the opportunity to get a rainbow of vitamins and minerals.
Some of the most important vitamins for boosting your immune system are:
Vitamin A, which helps regulate the immune system and protects from infections by keeping skin and tissues in the mouth, stomach, intestines and respiratory system healthy. Vitamin A can be found in sweet potatoes, carrots, kale, spinach, red bell peppers, apricots, and eggs.
Vitamin C, which protects you from infection by stimulating the formation of antibodies and boosting immunity. Rich sources of Vitamin C include, oranges, grapefruit and tangerines, red bell pepper, papaya, and strawberries.
Vitamin E, which works as an antioxidant, neutralizes free radicals, and may improve immune function. Get your Vitamin E from sunflower seeds, almonds, hazelnuts, and peanut butter
Zinc, which helps the immune system work properly and may help wounds heal, can be found in lean meat, poultry, seafood, milk, whole grain products, beans, seeds and nuts.
Chlorella and Spirulina are both a convenient way to diversify nutrients in your diet. Wuji tablets may seem like a packaged Vitamin, but the tablets are actually a whole food (100% pure Chlorella and Spirulina) which can provide you with the nutrition you need to stay healthy all year long.
Stress can also be responsible for a lower immune system. Harrison Wein, Ph. D, says,"stress produces a hormone in the body called cortisol. The brain recognizes cortisol as the "fight or flight" hormone, and when it is produced, other body functions are halted until the stressful situation has passed. This is the body's way of taking care of an immediate emergency. The immune system also receives signals to slow down while cortisol does its job. But with chronic stress, however, the immune system stays in low gear, leaving the body vulnerable to infection and disease. Common illnesses brought on or worsened by stress are cardiovascular disease, digestive problems, skin conditions and poor memory function.”
One study shows how long-term stress plays havoc with the immune system, raising the odds of catching a cold. Scientists in the U.S. questioned 176 men and women about difficult experiences they had been through in the past 12 months. Drops of the common cold virus were then dripped into their nose, and scientists checked if they caught the germ. Those who had been under stress were twice as likely to develop a cold.
Some great ways to reduce stress are meditation, deep breathing, and exercise.