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!
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
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
3. 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…
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
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."
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%"