Holistic Nutrition to prevent stomach flu
15 April 2013
At present the flu virus is running rife through the neighbourhoods as we approach winter, the dreaded stomach flu being the worst ailment to have to endure if you enjoy working out. Holistic nutrition may be one of your best defenses against the stomach flu. Certain foods can boost your immune system and prevent flu viruses from attacking healthy cells. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends getting the flu vaccine each year to prevent the flu virus, but also recommends eating nutritious foods to boost your immune system. Always check with your doctor before using holistic nutrition, especially when relying only on holistic nutrition for preventing or treating any kind of illness.
Mushrooms contain active hexose correlated compound, or AHCC, which may fend off germs that cause the stomach flu. You can eat mushrooms and shitakes or take AHCC supplements throughout the flu season. A 2009 article published in "Nutrition Research" suggests that AHCC supplements improve the immune system's response to viruses and fend off germs that cause the flu. As a general guide for ACHH supplements, Fred Pescatore, author of "The Science of AHCC: Japan's Medical Breakthrough in Immunotherapy," recommends taking 1,500 mg daily for two weeks to boost your immune system. After two weeks, take 750 mg a day throughout the flu season to keep your immune response strong and to protect yourself against the stomach flu. Talk to your doctor about taking AHCC supplements to find an appropriate dose for you
Protect yourself against the stomach flu by making sure you eat plenty of fruits and vegetables. Citrus fruits are powerful flu-fighting foods because they provide you with vitamin C -- a vitamin that boosts the immune system. Wash citrus fruit before eating, to prevent ingesting harmful bacteria that could make you sick. The Office of Dietary Supplements recommends a daily intake of 75 mg of vitamin C for adult females and 90 mg of vitamin C for adult males. Talk to your doctor about vitamin C supplements to find an appropriate dose that meets your individual needs throughout the flu season.
You can spice up your fruits and vegetables with ginger, but flavor is not the only benefit you get from ginger. For centuries, people have used ginger to calm digestive upset and nausea. This spice may also protect you from the stomach flu. In fact, a 2006 study conducted at Toyama Medical and Pharmaceutical University in Japan suggests that ginger may have preventive and therapeutic properties for the flu virus. Talk to your health care provider about drinking ginger tea to prevent the stomach flu.
The antibacterial and antiviral properties of garlic may help ward off the stomach flu. You can eat whole garlic cloves or take a garlic supplement. Garlic plays such a promising role in the prevention of flu viruses that soldiers in Moldova -- a former Soviet republic -- take 15 g of garlic daily to protect themselves against the flu, according to an article published on FoxNews.com in 2009. Garlic may affect blood pressure and cause a problem with blood clotting, so talk to your health care provider about taking garlic supplements or eating garlic regularly to prevent the stomach flu.
Swap Half for Whole
Rather than half the nutrients you get from eating white bread, rice, pasta and cereals, opt for the whole-grain versions of these products instead. The editors at "Fitness" magazine say whole-grain products are power-packed with the mineral zinc. Dr. Ashton states that while it is not entirely understood how zinc works, it is believed to aid your immune cells perform at their peak, thus helping fight the flu. Aside from whole-grain foods, zinc can also be found in oysters, beef and baked beans.