We're told by our Doctors that it’s never too early to get our annual flu shot. The CDC considers the flu vaccine to be "the first and most important step in protecting against flu viruses". But for me personally, if I don't get the shot, I get the flu. If I do get the shot, I get the flu. It really has been a no-win situation. What's been the issue?
The answer is my immune system has a habit of going into in early-hibernation mode. So now I prepare myself in the fall months for the coming winter by boosting my nutrition to boost my immunity. Whenever I start preparing my natural defenses, I think of the Game of Thrones catchphrase, "Winter Is Coming". Those cooler temps are rolling in and the time is now to follow my anti-inflammatory regimen to a tee. I'd like to say I do a decent job of staying in the Zone (or if my dad is reading this, "I am in the Zone every minute of every day of my life, now pass the PastaRx!").
There are no Food "Magic Bullets" to Prevent the Flu
A not-so-fun fact about the flu is that it's caused by a virus. So regardless of what many articles will declare, items such as bone broth, ginger, beef, and probiotics do not have any anti-viral activities. In order to properly improve your immunities, you must maintain a healthy mealtime regimen.
In my Zone Immunity Bootcamp, my day looks like this:
Breakfast: ZoneRx bar.
This is great for me as the time to eat a bar while I pack my son's lunch for school is the only amount of time I have before we leave the house. Or if I haven’t had a chance while getting him ready, I'll eat the bar on the way to his school.
Lunch: PastaRx plus as many vegetables as you can handle.
What I do is prepare a big batch of the pasta and veggies and store in the fridge, so I can grab it quickly to reheat, or take it with me on the go. Any further mealtime thinking will bring my brain to bad food choices.
Dinner: PastaRx plus as many vegetables as you can handle.
Dinner will usually be from the leftover batch of pre-cooked PastaRx and veggies. Asking me to cook a meal after putting down my crazed toddler gets a big laugh from me.
As a cherry, I add in OmegaRx 2. Resolvins derived from omega-3 fatty acids have been found to be effective in reducing flu symptoms. However, you need high levels of EPA and DHA to makes such resolvins. Start with our wellness dose of 3 grams and then you can always test your AA/EPA to see if you need more.
As long as you don't deviate from the Zone pyramid and take your Omega-3s, you will reduce the intensity of the initial inflammatory response and increase the intensity of the resolution response. Think of two separate phases of the inflammatory response working as a brake and an accelerator for the immune system.
I am not advocating to skip the flu shot altogether - especially those with certain health conditions, as well as older people and young children, as they're considered to be at high risk for serious flu complications.
But there's absolutely no harm in adding a good nutritional offense to your flu defense.