Flu VirusFlu season in North America is normally from fall to early spring and peaks in January/February. Statistics show that approximately 5% -20% of the population get the flu.
There are all different types of flu’s. Many have similar symptoms, which makes it challenging to tell what type of flu you have.  Common flu symptoms can include: a high fever or feeling feverish, a cough, a sore throat, a stuffy or runny nose, headache, body aches, chills, fatigue, nausea, vomiting or diarrhea.
We’ve all had the flu and know it’s not very pleasant. The reality is: getting the flu may not be a bad thing. The flu challenges our immune system and makes it stronger; much like sparring challenges those in martial arts.

Does it hurt? Yes.  Is it uncomfortable? Absolutely. Are there benefits? Yes sir!
In my opinion, getting the flu is a beneficial illness for a healthy individual.
The flu challenges the immune system thereby making our immune response stronger and more focused. Our immune system acts much like an army; it seeks out and destroys virus and bacteria. The more it is challenged, the stronger it becomes. A martial arts athlete gets better and better at his/her craft with continued sparing – so does your immune system.

Most of the flu names sound scary, like something out of a 1950’s horror flick. Bird flu, swine flu, H1N1, H2N3 … yikes who wants the same flu as a bird or a pig, and the numbered flu’s make it sound extra terrifying!

I’m not saying purposely infect yourself. I’m saying let go of the fear. Most healthy people without any pre-existing conditions overcome the flu quite well.
To stay well, eat 8 – 10 servings of fruits and veggies every day (that’s about 5 cups), drink 8 glasses of pure water each day, and avoid fast food, trans fats and artificial preservatives and colours; manage your stress effectively and sleep well at night.
There are also many natural supplements that can be taken during flu season to help your internal army fortify its defences. The list includes: vitamin C, vitamin D, zinc, probiotics, good quality multi-vitamin, Juice Plus+® Orchard, Garden and Vineyard Blend, oregano oil … just to name a few.Consult a nutritionist to create a tailored list of supplements to meet your specific health needs.

If you should happen to get the flu, the number one most important thing to do is … REST. Don’t go to work, don’t go to the gym, don’t run around busy … just rest.
I also recommend drinking lots of clear fluids (like water or herbal tea), avoid sugar and/or sugary drinks, and eat chicken or vegetable soup. Perhaps add supplements to your regime — speak to a healthcare professional if you are on any medication or have pre-existing health conditions before taking supplements.
Then, ride out the storm until you feel better.
Generally speaking, if your symptoms last longer than three days and you feel progressively worse consult your doctor.
I wish you a happy, safe and healthy flu season … let the games begin!

Carol Fazari, Registered Holistic Nutritionist

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