Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Prevent or Fight Flu with Vitamin D

Flu season is upon us.  Have you had your flu shot yet?  I got mine last week on a routine visit to my doctor.  We need to be prepared, you know!  I found some helpful tips for fighting the flu should you happen to feel it coming on.
You may have heard of fighting colds with Vitamin C, but how about fighting the flu with Vitamin D?  That’s a new one to me!  Exposure to sunshine helps the body manufacture Vitamin D, and Vitamin D boosts the body's own virus-fighting ability. This, along with other factors, is why colds and flu increase in the wintertime when there is less sunlight. If you want to use Vitamin D to prevent the flu this year, here is how.
1. Eat fish…lots of fish. (It's interesting to note that the diet of the Eskimos, who live in a part of the world where there is no sunshine at all for long periods, includes lots of fish oil and is therefore rich in Vitamin D.)  In descending order, some of the fish highest in Vitamin D are as follows:
* Herring
* Catfish
* Sockeye salmon
* Steelhead trout
* Halibut
* Sardines
* Mackerel
* Tuna packed in oil
You can also benefit by adding cod liver oil and fish oil supplements to your diet.
2. Two great sources of Vitamin D are tofu and soy milk.  Tofu has 124 IU (International Units) of Vitamin D per serving, and soy milk has 119 IU per cup.  Adding these to your diet will help with the flu battle.
3. An alternative or an addition is a good Vitamin D supplement. Some recommend Vitamin D3, as this is said to be the effective and the least likely to cause problems if taken in large amounts. Most supplements are in increments of 1000 IU - take up to 5000 IU per day. Children under the age of ten should have less; no more than 2000 IU is suggested for children aged two to four, and no more than 3000 for children under ten.
4. Increase your Vitamin D intake if you have been exposed to the flu. You can take up to 10,000 IU if you think you've been exposed. Make the appropriate  adjustments for children according to their ages.
5. Always a good healthy habit…Be sure to drink lots of water.  Large amounts of Vitamin D in your blood may raise your risk of developing kidney stones. Water helps flush out the excess vitamin.
6. Get outside in the sun when you can. Even in the wintertime.  Go outside as much as possible on sunny days.  While your face may be the only skin exposed to the sun, it's enough for you to benefit.
And, don't forget to get your flu shot if you are able to take them!  Have you done that yet?  If you like this post, be sure to follow this blog before you leave! It's easy peasy...just choose one or more of the options on the right sidebar!

Huge Green Hugs,Pat

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