Saturday, 2 May 2009

The Flu and All That Jazz

There's been plenty in the media about the latest potential influenza pandemic. the question is: do we need to be concerned?

According to Dr Mercola, probably not. His current influenza article is a little long to read, but quite informative and entertaining. I recommend it.


To stay well during the flu season, he recommends that we:
* keep up our vitamin D levels
* avoid sugar and processed foods
* get good rest each day
* exercise
* have plenty of omega-3s (eg, fish oil) and avoid trans fats
* wash our hands
* eat garlic regularly
* avoid hospitals and vaccines

Sounds like a pretty good list to me. To this I would like to add:

* drink a cup of thyme tea first thing each morning, preferably with one teaspoon of manuka honey and juice of half a lemon (unless you are allergic to thyme). The thyme boosts your immune system and helps prevent you succumbing to viruses. The manuka honey also contains immune-enhancing properties and the lemon juice will help to alkalise and cleanse your body. To make thyme tea, pick 2-3 small sprigs and infuse in 1 cup of hot water for 5-10 minutes. Add the lemon juice and honey and drink. Delicious!

* keep up your zinc status - around 85% of Australians are deficient in zinc and it is essential for the proper functioning of the digestive and immune systems. You can get zinc tests at health food stores to check whether or not you are deficient and one bottle will do the whole family.
If you find that you need to take a zinc supplement, take it after you have eaten, as you might feel nauseas otherwise. Also you might take a lower dose 3-4 times per day, rather than one large dose.
Aim for 100-200mg per day for adults; you probably won't need to stay on them forever, just top up every now and then. Children under 10 need about 10mg per day and over 10 about 15mg per day.
Or you can get your zinc from foods such as beef, baked beans, cashews, egg yolks (soft boiled eggs), ginger, herrings, liver, milk, lamb, oysters, sunflower and pumpkin seeds, whole grains, yeast.

* think about including vitamin C as a supplement, or including vitamin C foods in your diet, such as blackcurrants, broccoli, citrus fruits, guava, parsley, peppers, pineapple, potatoes, raw cabbage, rosehips and strawberries.

* the bioflavonoids can be really useful in building your immune system as well - enjoy plenty of buckwheat, citrus fruits, green growing shoots, skins of fruits and vegetables.

Look to nature for guidance - in these cooler months she supplies us with lovely fresh citrus, tropical fruits, broccoli and cabbages which are all good foods for building our immune systems.

And remember to stay active, stay warm and stay healthy. Bugs just love stagnant bodies to grow in, kind of like weeds growing in neglected gardens. Look after your body garden and you will stay well this winter.

love and light
naturewitch

12 comments:

TheCrone said...

I can always count on you for a common sense approach :)

I love that your foods list contains all the foods I am craving atm!

River said...

I like your reminder to stay warm. Constant body temperature is a great help in staying healthy. I cringe every time I see some one out in the cold, wearing boots, good, but their skirt is only just barely covering the bum. Or they've wrapped a gaily coloured scarf around their neck, but the chest is completely exposed. And little babies in prams, all rugged up in jumpers and parkas, but with bare heads.
I'm looking forward to doing all my winter cooking now, I love all those green veg, broccoli and brussels sprouts have always been my favourites.

Cheryl said...

Naturewitch....it is always a pleasure to drop by.....you speak a lot of common sense....

Poppi and I have just started eating fresh thyme from the garden....we eat it chopped up in our salad dressing......

Keeping active is the way to stay fit and healthy.......

Hope your autumn is being kind to you?

littleecofootprints said...

Great info thanks. You have reminded me to eat more citrus - off to make a thyme tea with lemon and raw honey. Yum!

You comment re taking zinc after eating bought back bad memories. I take a zinc supplement in my morning juice. I was not feel ing well one morning so my husband made it for me. I emphasised the importance of using only 1 ml of the zinc. He swore he would - but soon after drinking the juice I was non-stop vomiting!! On further questioning I found out he guessed the 1ml but pouring 'just a little bit' straight intothe juice! I have never felt so ill...Imake my own juice now :-)

Cheers,
Tricia

Ashley said...

I like your advice to stay warm!! I'm looking for some complete nutritional supplements for my kids.

Wendy said...

As Cheryl said - good common sense post. I agree. But, you forgot one very important thing - chocolate! Chocolate cures lots and lots of woes. LOL!

naturewitch said...

Dear Crone
Well, all those foods are great for growing babies, too! So crave on . . .xx

Hi River
Yes, I've seen the same thing, as well a young women wearing tops that expose their kidneys and even ones with shoe string straps and co cover up - go figure! xx

Hi Cheryl
I don't think people realise how important exercise is - the moving of our skeletal muscles helps move the lymph around our bodies. This helps to carry away the toxins from our bodies and keep our immune systems in order. Stay active, stay healthy! xx

Hey littleecofootprints
That sounds like a pretty awful experience. Zinc really is best in small doses. Hope it doesn't happen again. xx

Hi Ashley
If you can get to a naturopath, they'll be able to advise you about a practitioner only product which is better quality than you can get off the shelves at teh health food store.
Having said that, if you are in a health food store, Blackmore's and Pretorius are good brands to look for. Blackmore's has a children's multi - see http://www.blackmores.com.au/Products/Detail.aspx?ProductId=2275 for description. So does Pretorius - see http://www.pretoriusvitamins.com.au/vitamin.asp?productID=146.
If you aren't in Oz or don't have access to these supplements, try nettle broth, as nettles are full of minerals and vitamins. xx

HI Wendy
Oh yes, vitamin C! I'm still getting through the Easter and birthday chocolate and now Mother's Day has brought some, too! xx

Dr.Rutledge said...

Hi Naturewitch,

Great tips to ward off potential illness. Good post!

I'm a physician and former faculty member at Harvard and Stanford Medical Schools. I discovered your blog while looking for the best health writers on the web. I reviewed your posts, and think your writing would be a great addition to the Organic & Sustainable Community on Wellsphere, a top 5 health website that has nearly 5 million visitors monthly. If you would like to learn more about how you can join our Health Blogger Network, republish your blog posts and be featured on the Wellsphere platform, just drop me an email at dr.rutledge@wellsphere.com.

Cheers,
Geoff

Libby said...

The thyme tea sounds wonderful, although I may struggle to find the manuka honey. I shall give it a go!

Cathode said...

And just in case, I have 4 boxes of Tamiflu in the fridge : )

Honeymark said...

Interesting Post. Manuka Honey is definitely gaining a lot of notoriety for its amazing healing properties. We'll be seeing a lot more of it in the future.

molly said...

Great post as usual NW, thanks for the tips!