Every year, as the temperature starts to drop, signs urging us to take precautions against the flu begin popping up in drug stores and doctor’s offices everywhere. One such poster, designed by the Center for Disease Control (CDC), recommends “3 Actions to Fight the Flu.” Strangely, not one of those actions suggests supporting the body’s best defense – the immune system. Instead, those in charge of public health push us to inject immune suppressing chemicals into our bloodstream. We are encouraged to believe that our best line of defense is designed in a lab and accompanied by a long list of potentially dangerous side effects. However, when you start to examine the ingredients that make up the flu vaccine, the CDC’s argument begins to unravel. For starters, a list of flu vaccine ingredients posted on the CDC’s website indicates that many flu vaccines contain Thimerosal, a widely used preservative that is 49% mercury by volume.
Mercury toxicity is known to have toxic effects on the cardiovascular and central nervous system and can cause memory loss, depression, digestive imbalances, respiratory problems, cardiovascular diseases and a wide range of other serious ailments.If that weren’t scary enough, the CDC also lists formaldehyde as a component of the flu vaccine, even though formaldehyde is a toxic substance listed on the National Toxicology Program’s Report of Carcinogens. According to the Department of Health and Human Services, this report “identifies agents, substances, mixtures, and exposure circumstances that are known or reasonably anticipated to cause cancer in humans.” Thankfully, there are options – ones that aren’t associated with potentially dangerous consequences. In fact, one of the body’s best flu-fighting defenses - eating immune boosting foods - can actually increase your chances of warding everything from the common cold to a long list of diseases! So this flu season, give your body what it really needs to fight the flu. For starters, foods rich in beta-carotene (ie. Carrots, squash, pumpkin and dark leafy vegetables) are incredible for warding off respiratory infections. The beneficial bacteria found in probiotics is also one of your body’s best allies! Saurkraut, Kombucha, and other fermented foods offer excellent immune system support! For extra protection, include a probiotic supplement, into your daily routine! Rich in vitamin C and antioxidants, tomatoes boost the body’s natural defenses, and a landmark study, published in Cancer Research, shows that pairing tomatoes with broccoli could even help ward off cancer! A British study found that people taking allicin, an antimicrobial compound found in garlic, suffered 46 percent fewer colds and recovered faster from colds they got. Plus research from Tufts University in Boston found that eating vitamin E rich foods, like almonds, could significantly reduce your chance of getting sick! Let’s not forget mushrooms, which contain selenium, a nutrient with antioxidant properties that can protect cells from damage, and beta glucan, an antimicrobial fiber that activates stronger cells and help destroy infection. And that’s just the beginning! So why gamble with toxic substances when a diet rich in plant-based, nutrient packed foods could be all you need to stay well this winter!
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