You didn’t think I was going to talk about my love for running did you? Nah, I don’t really care for regular running BUT I’ll enthusiastically be trying to outrun the flu this year. For the last couple of weeks news stories about the severity of this year’s strain and the early onset of the season have gotten my attention. I’m not that worried for myself but my youngest son (9 years old) gets very high fevers when he’s sick. Not just your run of the mill fevers but the Oh-my-God-it’s-still-105-and-I-can’t-get-it-down-and-he’s-starting-to-have-tremors-so-I’m-taking-him-to-the-ER-again kind of fevers. Although I’ve learned how to deal with it better, I still dread hearing his little voice in the middle of the night saying “Mommy, I don’t feel good.”
There isn’t any sort of magic formula to avoid getting the flu but shoring up your immune system with a good diet is always very helpful. Increasing consumption of dark green leafy vegetables and the brightly colored fruits and vegetables is a great place to start.
Berries of all types are very good flu fighters. It so happens I picked up a few baskets of blackberries at the market yesterday. They’re in season right now and they’re sweet and delicious. If you don’t have access to fresh berries you can always get frozen. You can eat them plain like I do or add them to a smoothie but make sure to include them in your diet.
I don’t know how many people will really eat raw garlic but I’d venture to say some nice sautéed garlic added to your diet would be beneficial. I can’t imagine a kid wanting to eat a lot of the things on this list (cloves, turmeric, ginseng root, cayenne pepper and ginger might be hard to convince them to eat unless you’re a master of disguise and can incorporate these food items into dishes that they’ll eat), however, the following foods should be easy to put on your child’s plate (and yours).
Along with making sure you’re getting more of the aforementioned foods in your diet make sure to wash your hands often and keep your hands away from your mouth, nose and eyes. Those of us who spend time in the gym are in prime areas to pick up the influenza virus. Everybody touches everything…..the weights, the mats, the bosu balls, the ropes, the cardio machine handles, the lockers and the water fountain. Studies have shown that the flu virus can live quite happily for 2-8 hours on surfaces such as these so be aware and keep your hands off your face until they’ve been properly washed. In the absence of soap and water you can use a wipe or hand sanitizer (preferably with alcohol, even though it’s hard on your skin).
Make a couple of adjustments in your diet and remember to wash your hands often and that will go a long way to helping you avoid getting sick. Wishing you the best of luck in your race to avoid the flu this year!
You can follow this link and see where the flu outbreak has hit the hardest so far this year. The list is broken down by state so you can determine your risk http://shar.es/4zrdP