Every day our bodies are attacked by viruses and bacteria that weaken our immune system and make us more vulnerable to diseases like the Swine Flu.
Swine Flu is a serious disease. All flus are serious. Even with the flu shots so many people get, around 36,000 people die in the United States yearly from the flu. The concern is that a pandemic may occur. If it does, many more people will die. A pandemic is a disease that affects people worldwide. An epidemic is more contained.
The Swine Flu is a respiratory illness that is spread from pigs to humans to other humans. We spread it to each other much like we do colds—coughing, sneezing, and touching things with the virus on it. Wearing masks offer little protection unless you are also wearing disposable gloves and wash your hands well after disposing of both, then disinfecting the sink and handles. Unrealistic.
Symptoms are regular flu symptoms—fever, running nose, sore throat, and you can develop vomiting and diarrhea.
Treatment—antibiotics don’t work against viruses. The antivirals may work but problems are developing that viruses are becoming immune to them. Plus to work, you must take them within forty-eight hours of contact. Often, with the flu, you don’t recognize the symptoms until it is too late for the antivirals to work.
So, how can we protect ourselves?
We keep our immune system in top shape so that if we do contact the Swine Flu, our bodies will fight serious complications. We boost our immune system with certain foods.
Double the orange juice. Don’t forget the kids. Have them trade some of that apple juice for orange juice.
Eat carrots, sweet potatoes, and sweet bell peppers.
Beans, whole grains, nuts, especially walnuts, shrimp, and red meat.
Garlic and onions are great for boosting the immune system.
Get your Vitamin D from the sun fifteen minutes a day. Make sure your kids go outside after school for fifteen minutes without sunscreen.
Drink plenty of liquids throughout the day to prevent dehydration even if you have no symptoms.
A meal that is loaded with immune boosters is chili. Make with ground beef, red, green, and yellow sweet peppers, tomatoes, garlic, onions, and lots of beans.