Last spring I did a post on how to boost your immune system to fight the swine flu. That was before U.S. public health officials stepped in to market the flu under less pork-slandering terminology. Worried that the name swine flu would harm pork sales, trade industry officials and Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack switched to the more clinical and euphemistically appropriate term – H1N1.
H1N1 sounds so ambiguous, so detached. I suppose that was the whole idea – the branding plan behind the name switch. Swine flu just plain sounds icky. Hmmm, but on the other hand, the name avian flu doesn’t make you want to quit eating chicken, does it? I wonder if the administration and the pork guys considered calling this strain the artiodactyl flu. I kind of like that. Pigs are in the artiodactyl family, in case you didn’t know.
And no, you can’t get the swine flu from eating pork.
A science friend of mine sent me this video, knowing full well how much I love geeky stuff like virus instruction coding. Please watch this short video. It’s informative, amazing, humorous and easy to understand. Then read my tips for boosting your immune system so you keep the funky swine/H1N1/artiodactyl cells in check (along with all the other cooties we encounter on a daily basis).
Eewww, it’s a dirty world out there. Help your body protect you from it.
• High-quality, uninterrupted sleep (I know, I know – this is a tough one)
• Exercise, including yoga
• Eat lots of antioxidant-rich foods (vitamin C: citrus fruits, peppers, broccoli, green leafy veggies, berries, tomatoes; vitamin A: sweet potatoes, squash, broccoli, carrots, kale, collard greens, apricots, cantalope, peaches; vitamin E: nuts, seeds, GF whole grains, extra virgin olive oil, green leafy veggies; selenium: pastured eggs, chicken, garlic, 100% grass fed beef or bison, GF whole grains, fish)
• Fresh, whole foods – any brightly colored veggies and fruits as they are full of immune boosting phytochemicals (good plant chemicals)
• Green tea, ginger root tea
• Mushrooms, garlic, pineapple, coconut (other good stuff)
• Poor quality sleep (restful sleep is SO important for a strong immune system)
• Couch potato lifestyle
• Consuming junk food, fast food, processed food, sugar, caffeine, trans-fats
• Soda pop and sugary drinks (no, no, no)
• Too much alcohol
I’m going to skip the vaccine, wash my hands frequently, eat healthy foods, practice yoga, sleep 8 hours a night, think good thoughts (most of the time, anyway) and knock on wood.
Go forth, boost your immune system and avoid the artiodactyl flu.