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There are ways to reduce the likelihood of getting the flu this season, especially with the new risks  common on the news.

Every year millions of people around the world get the flu. So far the 2019-2020 season has already surpassed 13 million reported cases with over 120,000 people being hospitalized and over 6,600 deaths. Each year the flu is either type A or B. Type B usually affects children more often, as where Type A is more common with adults ranging from the age of 25 to 64. The flu affects children, older adults or people with a compromised immune system the hardest.

Throughout history we have had major pandemics, starting with the pandemic in 1918 which claimed over 25 million lives! Recently, we have had more severe cases of flu-like SARS, Bird Flu, Swine Flu H1N1 and now the Wuhan coronavirus, a cousin of the SARS virus which had a 10% death rate in 2003. Fortunately, these pandemics do not occur very often and scientific research in medicine has led to various vaccines but with limited results and no guarantees of their effectiveness which averages at only 67%. There is no vaccine for the coronavirus and the development of a new vaccine will take months which will not help in containing the spread of the virus.

The Wuhan New Type of Coronavirus is believed to have originated with snakes in Wuhan, China where live animals are sold in markets. Since the virus had genetically mutated within the snakes, people who came in contact with them became infected and since then the virus has spread from person to person. So far more than 600 people have been confirmed infected and 17 people have died in China. In an effort to control the spread of this virus China has imposed travel restrictions and health screenings have begun at airports all over the world screening travelers as new cases are appearing spreading outside China.

What are the symptoms?

  • Fever
  • coughing
  • difficulty breathing

What can you do to protect yourself?

The common guidelines are to avoid contact with people that have pneumonia or the common cold, don’t touch your eyes, mouth or nose with dirty or unwashed hands and to wash your hands often with soap and water. But one of the most important things you can do is to strengthen your immune system which is your best line of defense.

What foods can you eat to help prevent the flu?

One of the most important things you can do is to have a good diet. If you eat a diet that lacks macronutrients you become nutrient deficient and consequently your immune deficience. Your body then is unable to defend itself properly. A diet in proteins, healthy fats and antioxidants are very important to maintain a balanced immune system.

Here are 7 foods that will help your body get stronger:

  1. Garlic – help reduce the duration of the common cold and flu,
  2. Cloves – contain eugenol which helps fight against viruses and bacteria,
  3. Collard Greens – contain essential B vitamin Folate which is important for cell growth. Folate deficiency may depress the immune system,
  4. Salmon – 3 ounce serving will provide almost half the daily recommended amount of protein. It is also rich in Vitamin D and essential fatty acids needed for a healthy immune system
  5. Ginger – is a powerful antioxidant and also helps fight inflammation,
  6. Carrots – rich in Vitamin A and beta carotene.
  7. Mushrooms – rich in antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and other essential nutrients also is rich in Beta-D-glucans and Vitamin D. Studies have shown they help improve immune function.

 

How can Mushrooms make a world of difference?

In 2017, a study from Japan was published in Biocontrol Science In vitro Anti-Influenza Virus Activity of Agaricus brasiliensis KA21 on the anti-viral effects of the ABM mushroom extract on the H1N1 flu virus.

What did the research show?

The ABM mushroom inhibited the direct actions of the virus, the absorption and effectively helped prevent the spread of the H1N1 influenza virus.

The effectiveness was based in a dose-dependent manner. 

One of the active components in the ABM mushrooms are Beta-D-Glucans which studies show are responsible in stimulating the immune system and helping provide antiviral activity against both Type A and B influenza viruses.

What makes the mushrooms so effective? The answer is simple, they help stimulate the innate immune response which is the body’s first line of defense. It provides a barrier by recruiting the immune cells that attack viruses, bacteria, and parasites.

The secret to fight or prevent the flu according to researchers is with the ABM mushrooms and the key is that they help boost your natural immune system!

If you want to find out more about how you can stay healthier this flu season, talk to a nutritional specialist who can help.