Flu season is rapidly approaching and, with it, constant reminders to get vaccinated. I felt passionate enough to write this article because of the pressure people are getting to vaccinate despite the mounting research suggesting this does not help with long-term health and doesn’t actually work in the first place.
It seems that vaccination rates amongst adults over 50 are dropping, which means extra pressure will likely be applied to get more adults to get flu shots.
My friend who competes as a professional athlete asked my opinion on the flu shot because he can get it for free through his work. Another friend was hospitalised recently from taking antibiotics due to a suspected viral infection. In her words “I have a supressed immune system anyway and my bloods indicated that I am fighting a severe infection of some kind and they reckon antibiotics lowered my immune system further”.
Now, I did a little digging into the flu vaccination and I for one have never had the vaccine, much to my mum’s dismay (she’s a nurse and gets the vaccine for free as well).
It seems no matter how ineffective flu vaccinations are each year, the call to vaccinate still remains, why is that?
With each successive annual flu vaccination, the protection afforded by the vaccine appears to diminish [1,2]. Research published in 2014 concluded that vaccine-induced protection against influenza was greatest among those who had NOT received a flu shot in the previous five years .
It’s becoming increasingly difficult to justify the stance that yearly flu vaccinations are the best option in preventing flu.
Go with your gut
Our gut represents almost 70% of our entire immune system  so when friends, family, clients come to me about cold and flu I immediately tell them to increase their nutrient dense foods, get some vitamin D and take a probiotic. I have collated a few other suggestions below that are a much better alternative than taking a flu vaccine.
Preventing Flu naturally Without the Side Effects
Increase gut health nutrients
Eating right is a big part of keeping your body and immune system functioning at its best. During the winter months, add in a few more Vitamin C-rich foods like oranges and grapefruit (in season during the winter) and dark green leafy vegetables like spinach and kale.
Drink green tea with some coconut oil (good fats), full of anti-oxidants and satisfying. Add probiotic and prebiotic foods like full fat plain live yogurt, sauerkraut, pickles, bone broth or take a daily dose of probiotics. No actimel please, its just full of sugar. Increase your anti-inflammatory foods such as garlic, ginger, turmeric and fatty fish like wild salmon. Reducing alcohol can also help reduce inflammation in the body.
Get some quality sleep, notice how I don’t say quantity. Try sleeping utilising your body’s natural circadian rhythms by sleeping in 90 min cycles. Check out ‘The power of the sleep cycle’ with Glen Rhodes.
Raises blood pressure and comprises the immune system. Now we cannot eradicate stress but we can put things into perspective to minimise the levels of stress we choose to put on ourselves. Every time you feel stressed stop, do some deep belly breaths (7-11 in 7 secs through the nose and out 11 secs through the mouth, 3 times round) and then think about three things you are happy about. Changes your whole outlook, I promise. Try it!
Even more so if you are feeling a little run down, you will be amazed at how much faster you recover. I also mean actual water. Sweetened drinks do not count, because they act as food, which produces waste, not like water, which removes it. This includes juice, soft drinks like coke, caffeinated drinks and milk. If you regularly drink less, your immune system is distracted and can be worn down as it works on neutralising the poisons accumulating in your body that you are not eliminating in your urine.
Outside, everyday in the fresh air and daylight for vitamin D. Just walking and enjoying where you are. Try smiling too, it helps. I am constantly telling my boyfriend this as he is glued to his office chair all day ‘thinking’ he cant leave as he has meetings or things to do. There is ALWAYS time for your health. It’s just what you choose to prioritise.
To end, in the words of Dr Mercola – “For most people the flu shot will not protect you against coming down with the flu. And it certainly does not protect you against dying from pneumonia should you get ill. Instead, it does just the opposite and weakens your immune system”.
“So why not focus on wholly beneficial strategies to prevent the flu rather than taking your chances with potentially dangerous side effects from a vaccine”?
If you want to take a more natural and holistic approach to your health then please get in touch, I’d love to hear from you.