7 Steps To A Flu-Free Winter Without Relying On A Flu Shot

While it’s become popular in the last decade to rely on vaccines to protect us from the flu, there are a number of problems with this that are rarely discussed. First is the fact that the effectiveness of flu shots has yet to be proven. In fact, many studies show that getting vaccinated has no impact on the likelihood of catching the flu for babies, adults, or the elderly.

Then there’s the question of the toxic ingredients used to manufacture flu vaccines – and it's not mandatory to disclose such ingredients to recipients of the vaccines. While this entertaining video pokes fun at the topic, it’s definitely worth considering whether you’re willing to inject substances like mercury and formaldehyde into your body, especially for a practice with unproven results.

You may be wondering how such a highly recommended "solution" could be so ineffective. The answer lies in the biology of the flu virus. Vaccines are made from disabled strains of the flu from past seasons, which trick the body into producing antibodies to fight against them.

Ideally, the body should then be better able to defend against the virus if/when it encounters the same strain again. However, the reality is that flu viruses mutate very quickly, so the strain you encounter mid-season may be unrecognized as the strain you were vaccinated against, or worse it may have adapted into a strain that is more resistant than the version you were vaccinated against.

Either way, the result of the vaccine is rendered useless, and your body is likely to succumb to the virus. Luckily, there are lots of ways to protect yourself from the flu without relying on a flu shot.

Here are my top 5 super simple recommendations:

1. Stock up on Vitamin D.

Vitamin D is an essential nutrient that keeps the body functioning optimally, and especially supports the immune system. Some studies have shown it to be a flu fighter. Interestingly, flu season corresponds with winter – the time of year when we are least able to take in adequate levels of Vitamin D from the primary source: sunshine! I recommend having your Vitamin D checked and ideally, you want your level between 50 and 80 ng/ml. Your best bet is probably to take a Vitamin D3 supplement daily.

2. Take a probiotic every day.

A strong immune system relies heavily on having a healthy, well-functioning gut (as 70% of your immune system is in the gut), and probiotics help keep your gut engine humming. Look for a probiotic with at least 10-20 billion organisms and take daily.

3. Avoid sugar, gluten, and processed foods.

These dramatically decrease immune function. Instead load up on nutrient-rich whole foods. Start your day with a smoothie full of goodness in the form of healthy fats (almond or coconut milk, avocado, almond butter), some frozen berries, chia seeds and a good protein powder. Lunches and dinners of nourishing soups, colorful salads, and dark greens and veggies are packed with flu-fighting phytonutrients.

4. Give your body an easy antiviral boost.

Antiviral herbs boost your immunity and help protect you without creating resistant viral strains. Four great antivirals are

  • Andrographis
  • Olive leaf extract
  • Grapefruit seed extract
  • Elderberry extract

You can also dig into garlic, which has antiviral properties and is a known immunity booster.

5. Don’t skimp on sleep.

Getting enough sleep is a key component to a flu-free winter! There’s no better time for the body to restore and repair itself than while you rest. Shoot for at least 7 hours a night and try taking a 20-minute power nap if you’re falling short. If sleep is not your strong suit, check out my top tips for improving your sleep.

6. Chillax.

Reducing stress is particularly important during flu season. Exercise helps to keep your immune system healthy, but don’t overdo it – your workout shouldn’t be a stress to your body! Light strength training, breathing exercises, yoga, or simply taking the time for things you enjoy will relieve tension and enhance physical and mental resilience.

7. Lay off the antibacterial soap & hand sanitizers.

The antibacterial craze has created harsh products loaded with toxins that increase the risk of creating resistant bacteria. They also over-dry and crack the skin, making transmission of viruses that much easier. Instead, wash your hands frequently with good, old-fashioned hot water and chemical-free soap. When you feel the need for an on-the-spot cleaning, try a few drops of lavender essential oil for a natural hand sanitizer.

With these tips, staying flu-free this winter should be a breeze. I’d love to hear what keeps you well! Let me know in the comments sction

Ready to learn more about how to unlock the power of food to heal your body, prevent disease & achieve optimal health? Register now for our FREE Functional Nutrition Webinar with Kelly LeVeque.

Frank Lipman, M.D.

Pioneer in Functional Medicine
For Dr. Frank Lipman, health is more than just the absence of disease: it is a total state of physical, mental, emotional, spiritual and social wellbeing. Dr. Lipman is a widely recognized trailblazer and leader in functional and integrative medicine, and he is a New York Times best-selling author of five books, How to Be Well, The New Health Rules, Young and Slim for Life, Revive and Total Renewal. After his initial medical training in his native South Africa, Dr. Lipman spent 18 months working at clinics in the bush. He became familiar with the local traditional healers, called sangomas, which kindled his interest in non-Western healing modalities In 1984, Dr. Lipman immigrated to the United States, where he became the chief medical resident at Lincoln Hospital in Bronx, NY. While there, he became fascinated by the hospital’s addiction clinic, which used acupuncture and Chinese medicine to treat people suffering from heroin and crack addiction. Seeing the way these patients responded so positively to acupuncture made him even more aware of the potential of implementing non-Western medicine to promote holistic wellbeing. As a medical student, he was taught to focus on the disease rather than the patient, and now as a doctor he found himself treating symptoms rather than the root causes of illness. Frustrated by the constraints of his training, and the limitations in helping his patients regain true health, he began a journey of discovery to search for the path to meaningful long-term health and wellness. He began studying nutrition, acupuncture, Chinese medicine, herbal medicine, functional medicine, biofeedback, meditation, and yoga. Dr. Lipman founded the Eleven Eleven Wellness Center in 1992, where he combines the best of Western medicine and cutting edge nutritional science with age-old healing techniques from the East. As his patient chef Seamus Mullen told The New York Times, “If antibiotics are right, he’ll try it. If it’s an anti-inflammatory diet, he’ll do that. He’s looking at the body as a system rather than looking at isolated things.” In addition to his practice, he is also an instructor in mbg's Functional Nutrition Program.
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Frank Lipman, M.D.

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