5 Things in Your Kitchen that Fight the Flu

Everyone knows someone who is sick these days. There's a lot of misinformation about what can or cannot keep you healthy this winter, which is why it's really convenient when your CEO is also a medical doctor. We asked Buzzy founder, Amy Baxter MD, what we could do to avoid the flu, and she brought medical studies along to back up the facts.

Here are 5 things (plus a bonus!) that can keep you flu-free this year.  The best part: most can be found in your kitchen!

1. Yogurt

You've probably heard about the gastrointestinal benefits of yogurt, but probiotics like yogurt have more benefits than just improving your daily deposits ;)

Here's what Dr. Baxter says:

"Probiotics work.  Parents can prevent cold and flu symptoms using acidophilus, the "friendly bacteria" in yogurt twice a day. Probiotics significantly reduced cough, fever, snotty nose… you name it. Probiotics also had effects on cold and influenza-like symptom incidence and duration in children 3-5 years. The same principles have been researched in adults.

Source: Pediatrics Journal

 

2.Buzzy

Buzzy Bee Striped XL

Hopefully your Buzzy wings are getting chilly in your freezer. Buzzy can't prevent the flu on on its own, but it makes a great pal to take to get your flu shot.

"24% of adults don’t get vaccinated because they don’t like needles. A 2012 study by Target found that almost a quarter of unvaccinated adults had a dislike of the poke itself. Unfortunately, needle-less options can hurt as much or more. For people who dislike needles, Buzzy, a vibrating cold pack, decreases injection pain 73-86%, and works best on adults. Needle fear is a barrier to vaccination that doesn't get addressed often, but at least there are solutions."

Source: Journal of Pediatric Nursing

You can buy a Buzzy here and if you need to hear it one for time, yes you should get a flu shot.

3. Vitamin C

Orange vitamin c

Vitamin C doesn't prevent you from getting the flu, but it can make you feel better. But you're going to need a lot more than glass of OJ.

"Does an orange a day keep the doctor away? Silly question – who makes house calls anymore? A better question is does high dose vitamin C (1g/day) help decrease the likelihood of catching flu. Short answer -- nope, but a 2013 Cochrane review (highest quality reviews of existing studies) found…

it helps.

Sort of. In over 11,300 total patients, this was the verdict:

'In adults the duration of colds was reduced by 8% (3% to 12%) and in children by 14% (7% to 21%). In children, 1 to 2 g/day vitamin C shortened colds by 18%.'

So you got that going for you. "

4&5. Hand Soap and Face Masks

Hand washing can help fight the flu

Everyone has soap in their kitchen. The more immuno-cautious of you might also have face masks (the medical kind, not the activated-charcoal sort). Face masks don't protect you, however, but if you have the flu they can be a great way to protect those around you.

"Handwashing helps, but wearing a mask doesn't protect you.  That said, a strong mask for people who are ill can cut transmission in half." 

Source: The Journal of Hospital Infection

 

And Dr. Baxter has one more tip if you're exposed to someone with the flu:

"Finally, if you're definitely exposed to flu, taking one Tamiflu a day for 7 days reduces the chance of developing flu 70-90%"

Source: CDC