Sunny LaValle: Eat to Beat the Flu
Like an impending tornado, the flu is circling, looming and ready to strike. The CDC estimates that 128 million doses of the flu vaccine have already been administered as of this month, which is a whopping 95 percent of the total manufacturers planned to produce all year. Boston even declared a public health emergency this week based on the severity of their outbreak.
And don't think sunny Florida is immune. According to the CDC, flu activity is already widespread down here. So other than the obvious vaccination (if you can score one), how the hell can we protect ourselves from this nasty bastard?
Well food, of course! It's nature's cure.
Short Order spoke to nutritionist Sunny LaValle of Miami's Sunshine Wellness, Inc. on how to beat the epidemic. She reminded us of the words of Hippocrates, "Let thy food be thy medicine and thy medicine shall be thy food."
LaValle also recommends getting plenty of exercise, drinking lots of water and undergoing stress relief as part of your prevention plan.
"I strongly recommend taking one hour out of each day and relaxing. That can be exercising, taking a soothing yoga class, leisurely reading your favorite book or taking a long walk with your dog. You will see a great improvement in your stress level which can only help your immune response," she says.
When asked about supplements, LaValle says whole foods are always a better choice. "A diet rich in important vitamins, minerals and antioxidants will contribute to a well functioning immune system and may promote a faster recovery. If anything, a basic multi-vitamin is fine if one feels their diet is lacking in any way."
Just do it.
And what should you eat, specifically? LaValle offers the following advice on key nutrients and food sources:
1. Omega 3 Fatty Acids
"These come from fatty fish such as wild red salmon, tuna and trout. Aim for two servings a week. These fatty acids help protect the body against stress and inflammation and promote good blood flow while enhancing immune function. Other great sources include sardines, albacore tuna, flax seeds, chia seeds and walnuts."