The Flu is always scary.  I caught the flu a few years ago and … I was the stereotype of a sick man: moaning and planning my obituary.

The two primary reasons we catch the flu:

  1. we are exposed
  2. we are vulnerable

The first one is obvious, but the second one is key, because it explains why some of us catch it while others around us do not.  Simply put, we need to do our best to keep our defenses up.

How do we optimize our defenses?

  1. No Sugar! (I’ll come back to this but also see: Good News/Bad News: Sugar)
  2. A little exercise and plenty of rest goes a long way in the winter
  3. Take your vitamins (especially C, D, and multivitamin)
  4. Strictly limit or eliminate dairy during cold season
  5. Peppermint essential oil

Sugar and the Immune System

I go into more detail in the other blog entry about sugar, so if you want to understand the science behind this, go there.  Basically, sugar interferes with how our immune system behaves.  Sugar causes our immune system to work harder and accomplish less resulting in a weaker defense and an increased production of mucus.

  1. No sweets or desserts (yes, including ice cream)
  2. No tropical fruits (bananas, mangos, pineapples, etc.)
  3. No fruit juices (except unsweetened grapefruit juice)
  4. Honey … honey is a gray area because it has a number of benefits also. I still discourage it but not everyone responds to honey the same way.

If you are exposed to the flu or expect to be, there are other precautions that you can take:

  1. Regular neti pot
  2. Elderberry tincture or lozenges
  3. Occilococcinum
  4. Everything else that has already been mentioned above

Ultimately, if you do develop symptoms, you will probably need more intervention, but you should consult with a provider at that point to get the best results.