We hear more about the flu than ever before. No matter what time of the year it is, you can’t go into your doctor’s office without them asking if you’ve had your flu shot and vigorously suggesting you get it right then.
You can’t watch television without being pounded by messages about the dangers of the flu and how the flu shot is the “be all, end all”. In fact, just the other night one of my favorite shows showed a young boy dying of the flu — and the doctor only found it acceptable that his mother chose not to get him the flu shot because he was allergic.
But, does the flu shot really offer you the protection they want you to think it does? And, is it really your only option to prepare your body to fight off the virus that causes the flu?
The answer is NO and NO!
First, let’s take a look at the lie of flu shot effectiveness…
Get the flu shot or you’ll get sick
That’s what you hear at your doctor’s office.
But, the fact is that the strains of flu circulating each year changes and the scientists do nothing more than make a guess when they’re mixing up those flu vaccines.
And, guess what…
They’re wrong far more often than they’re right.
This year was no different.
The main strain going around was H3N2 — and for it, the flu shot was only 25 percent effective.
Not so good.
And, that’s not the worst of it.
Did you know that getting the flu vaccine could open you up to getting sicker from other infections?
In fact, people who received the flu vaccine in had twice the risk of getting sick with the pandemic H1N1 “swine flu” in compared to those who skipped the flu shot the previous year.
So, what can you do that’s better for your body and that actually works?
The fiber flu fix
Researchers at Monash University have discovered a secret that could turn traditional methods for fighting the flu on their head.
You see, they began by looking at previous scientific studies linking dietary fiber to beneficial effects on a variety of chronic inflammatory diseases, like asthma and allergies.
And, that got them wondering…
Could fiber help decrease inflammation to help your body’s immune system work better in fighting off the flu?
Here’s what they found…
In mice, dietary fiber not only increased survival in influenza-infected mice by setting the immune system at a healthy level of responsiveness, it actually slowed down harmful immune responses in the lungs.
And, according to the scientists, it even boosted antiviral immunity by activating the body’s T cells to fight infection.
The researchers say this makes fiber an option for both preventing and fighting viral infections, like the flu.
The fiber the scientists used in the study was “highly fermentable” so you need to keep that in mind. The best sources of highly fermentable fiber are:
- Jerusalem artichokes
So, if you’re ready to fight off flu the natural, effective way, add more fermentable fiber to your daily diet. It will help modulate your immune system to fight off the virus no matter what time of the year it is.
- The Flu Shot Is More Effective Than We Thought This Year — Live Science
- New Canadian studies suggest seasonal flu shot increased H1N1 risk — CIDRAP – Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy
- A high-fiber diet protects mice against the flu virus — Cell Press