Numerous people believe that to prevent the flu, they should get their annual flu vaccine. However, there is research that says vitamin D could actually prevent the flu as effectively or more than a flu shot can. So before you head to the clinic, be sure to learn the facts in order to give your body the best methods for battle.
There has been evidence to support the idea that vitamin D levels correspond with one’s probability to develop a cold or flu. The most recent study included nearly 11,000 people spanning across a dozen countries. A few of the findings include:
- People who took daily or weekly vitamin D supplements are less likely to report acute respiratory infections, like the flu or common cold.
- People who had the lowest vitamin D deficiencies (blood levels below 10 [ng/mL]), taking a supplement cut their risk of respiratory infection in half.
- People with the higher vitamin D levels also saw a small reduction in risk, about 10 percent—this is equal to the effect of the injectable flu vaccine!
Researchers believe that vitamin D delivers protection by increasing antimicrobial peptides in your lungs. The findings could certainly explain why “flu season” occurs during the winter months, due to low levels of sunlight (vitamin D).
This new research is in support of other studies that have come to similar conclusions starting over a decade ago.
The Best Ways To Prevent The Flu
According to research, and highly regarded doctors, you should plan to prevent the flu through options aside from the flu vaccine. Primarily, it all begins with your diet. Avoid a diet high in sugar and processed foods to keep your body healthy and functioning effectively as a whole. Then, optimize your vitamin D levels with increased sun exposure.
A vitamin D3 supplement is only recommended if you truly can’t receive the recommended vitamin D levels. However, if your vitamin D levels are sufficiently low, then you might need to take some supplements to reach an optimal level.
In addition to these methods, to optimize your vitamin D and prevent the flu, you might want to be sure these foods and supplements have a place in your diet.
- Vitamin C
- Oregano Oil
- Tea (combination of elderflower, yarrow, boneset linden, peppermint and ginger)
- Medical mushrooms
- Olive leaf extract
Talk more to a health professional about your current vitamin D levels, intake, nutrition, and immune system for best results when it comes to flu prevention. You can also read more about upping your vitamin D intake and how foods can help you, here.
Depending on where you live, “flu season” might be over, but your vitamin D levels never sleep. Be sure to get some sun, eat healthy, and stay active to prevent the flu and other health conditions. Don’t jump too quickly into shots and medicines before you’ve tried a more natural and effective way of staying healthy!