Each year, a new and slightly different strain of seasonal influenza (flu) manifests itself in the U.S. The effects of the flu compel individuals to take certain small precautions to avoid the flu, as well as supplementary measures to promote good health if it is contracted.
What Is the Seasonal Flu?
The seasonal flu is a condition that occurs because of viruses that spread from one individual to another. The flu causes mild-to-moderate symptoms in many people, while causing severe illness in others, most commonly elderly individuals with comorbid conditions such as diabetes or heart disease. Most people who contract the flu move past it within one to two weeks, but this is not always the case.
There are symptoms common to most flu infections. These include a cough, sore throat, fever, muscle aches, fatigue, and others. Some children experience symptoms of stomach sickness.
Tips to Avoid Contracting the Flu
There are measures individuals can take to prevent the spread of flu. These include avoiding close contact with persons experiencing any symptoms of illness, covering your mouth and nose when sneezing or coughing, and staying home from work/school if you become sick.
Washing your hands regularly, disinfecting or not touching frequently used public surfaces, and avoiding touching one’s face until hands are washed are also good measures. Getting enough sleep, some regular exercise, and eating healthy all help you, too.
Best Supplements to Support the Immune System
First of all, it must be stated that no supplement has been shown to prevent flu contraction. However, there are multiple vitamins and other supplements that can help reduce the severity and duration of flu symptoms. These are worth considering. If you suspect you have the flu, chat with your doctor about taking any of these.
NAC (N-acetylcysteine) is an amino acid that works as an antioxidant. There is worthy scientific research showing that NAC might help prevent flu symptoms. NAC was shown to greatly reduce the incidence of symptoms in individuals who contracted the H1N1 virus, which is similar in nature to the seasonal flu. NAC contributes to production of glutathione, an antioxidant in your body.
Elderberry might be useful in lessening the severity of flu symptoms. There is clinical evidence supporting the notion this plant-derived supplement strengthens immune cells. In turn, this might help reduce the incidence and severity of fever in those who get the flu, and diminish the spread of the virus as well.
Vitamin D is a critical vitamin that just might be instrumental in warding off severe flu symptoms. Vitamin D works directly to strengthen the immune system. There is reason to believe that vitamin D deficiency might be related to the incidence of flu symptoms in the winter months. This is because individuals are less likely to be exposed to sunlight, which is a provider of vitamin D.
Garlic is a plant (commonly found in supplement form) that is thought to stimulate the immune system. When you consume garlic, remember to eat it raw or take it as a supplement. Cooked garlic might not have the enzymes and substances that provide the immune benefits.
Avoiding the seasonal flu and preventing its symptoms are a natural priority each fall/winter season. Keep the above tips in mind. Also, remember these easy-to-use supplements as the weather gets colder, and keep them handy. These can make all the difference in bolstering your immune system and reducing the symptoms of the flu if you do contract it.