Figuring out how to prepare for flu season is like studying for a test—and if you learn and implement the correct knowledge, you’re bound to ace this thing.
Let’s be real. Getting sick is a hassle. We at Wild Foods are achievers and go-getters. We assume the same about our customers. Catching a cold or flu can put us down for the count, rendering us couch-bound until further notice. Not to say there’s no place for down time in our lives. But 3-to-4 days of sniffling and coughing and being barely able to handle day-to-day tasks and work? No thanks.
The formula for how to prepare for flu season has been refined and refined again by my family and I. We don’t like to slow down for pathogens, and we don’t think you should either. That’s why we’ve decided to reveal our favorite tips for preparing for flu season.
But when does flu season start? We like to think September. It’s when kids reenter classrooms and we start to see less sun. So asking when is cold season amounts to when colder temperatures start to creep in and people start gathering more inside (to spread viruses).
10 Tips on How to Prepare for Flu Season
1. Get some sunlight if it’s around
Did your parents or P.E. coaches tell you to avoid sunlight like the plague when you were growing up? Yeah, well, forget all that stuff. The sun gives us the resources to produce vitamin D, regulate our sleep-wake cycles, and bolster immunity.
We suggest at least 15 minutes of direct sunlight every day. Extra credit if you get it while on a walk in the elements. And remember, we’re not saying go out and get sunburned. Sunburns are still bad.
2. Or supplement with vitamin D
We don’t all live in environments with ample sunlight. For those of you residing in northern latitudes, consider taking a decent vitamin D supplement.
It has become well established that vitamin D is essential for mood and immunity. In some countries that don’t see a lot of sunlight, medical systems are beginning to give the stuff out like candy.
1,000 UIs per day of vitamin D is a good amount, especially if you think you might be deficient in the nutrient.
3. Ensure you’re not running any vitamin or mineral deficiencies
Other vitamins such as vitamin C play a massive role in keeping immunity in check. Minerals such as magnesium are a huge must for keeping bad bugs away.
If you’re concerned you might be running any deficiencies, don’t hesitate to check in with your doctor to get some blood work panels done. It’s best to see what you actually need. It takes the guesswork away and can save you some money in the end.
4. Keep up good lifestyle habits
Drinking a gallon of water a day, exercising, removing stress that can compromise immunity, and embracing a whole-foods, nutrient rich diet are paramount habits for bolstering immunity and preventing colds and flus.
Humans are extremely adaptable creatures. We can live very long while pursuing unfavorable habits simultaneously. But it doesn’t mean that we’ll still be immune to the next invader! To feel better during a cold or flu—or to not even develop symptoms in the first place—it’s important that we keep up hydration and movement and keeping calm, among other things.
5. Eat like your ancestors
At Wild Foods, we believe our ancient ancestors had it right. They didn’t eat TV dinners, packaged pastries, or the refined grains of the industrial world.
Today, supermarkets are lined with goods that don’t belong in the human body. Sugar, canola oil, corn syrup, granola bars, soda, etc. are all examples of poisonous foods, and it’s a shame big food corporations are even allowed to use them.
So what should one eat in this world full of crap food? Responsibly, clean sourced meats, vegetables, and fruits. Start there!
6. Keep wild oregano oil in the house
The idea of using wild oregano oil for colds and flus has been around for a long time. And now we have the science to back it up, though more research is definitely warranted.
A 2011 study published in the Brazilian Journal of Microbiology found that the compound called carvacrol in oregano oil inhibits viruses in humans and animals.
7. Take medicinal mushroom supplements
Medicinal mushrooms have been used in traditional Chinese medicine and other forms of traditional Chinese medicine for thousands of years. These aren’t your average cremini or white mushrooms, but a class of mushrooms with much more potent medicinal properties. Some of them include reishi, chaga, and turkey tail mushroom.
Chaga mushroom is being studied for its antiviral properties. One study even found chaga to possibly be efficacious against COVID-19. Published in the International Journal of Medicinal Mushrooms, the study found that the terpenoids in chaga may interfere with spike protein recognition of the host cell (for the better).
Many know that we’re huge advocates for chaga for immune health, and even sell our own responsibly sourced Chaga Mushroom Powder Extract.
8. Take other immune support herbs
Other immune-boosting herbs like ginger and turmeric can be promising during flu season. Another popular concoction we sell is our Wild 7-in-1 Immune Support. It contains elderberry, zinc, vitamin C as well as goldenseal, and Vitamin D!
9. Don’t over-sanitize
Especially nowadays we’re seeing people wash and use hand sanitizer on their hands after touching every faucet, surface, and park bench!
Being overly-sanitary is bad because most sanitization products don’t single out bad microbes; they kill good bacteria, too. Didn’t you know that we have a microbiome on our skin?
10. Play in the dirt
This goes hand-in-hand with our previous tip. Instead of over-sanitizing, aim to do the opposite. Go outside, get your hands in the dirt, hug trees, walk barefoot, sit on park benches, play with pets, hang out in the grass, and partake in other activities that bring you close to Earth and all her beautiful, helpful microbes.
This is how to strengthen immunity, by getting back to your roots!