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Are you feeling tired, running a temperature, or dealing with a stomach ache all day long? You may be coming down with the flu. The flu, a contagious respiratory illness, caused by influenza viruses that infect the nose, throat, and lungs can cause mild to severe illness, and at times can lead to death.

The U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that 35-50 million Americans come down with the flu each year.

How You Get the Flu

Transmission commonly occurs when a person with the flu coughs, sneezes, or talks around another person. The droplets containing their germs land in another person’s mouth or nose. It can also be transmitted when a person simply touches a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touches their mouth, eyes, or nose. An average of 200,000 people are hospitalized each year for flu-related complications, including pneumonia, ear infections, sinus infections, dehydration, and worsening of chronic medical conditions, such as congestive heart failure, asthma, or diabetes.

I spoke with Suzy Cohen (RPh), who has been a licensed pharmacist for 23 years. Cohen is the author of "Dear Pharmacist", a syndicated health column, which she has been writing for 13 years.

Suzy's Flu Prevention Tips

Five things you can do prevent the flu...
1. Wash your hands with soap and water.
2. Eat right throughout the year – naturally grown foods, no preservatives or artificial.
3. Get enough sleep – rest to be at your best.
4. Avoid overexertion and stress.
5. Minimize touching communal or common hot spots, such as escalator rails, door handles, seats on subways, etc.

What are some foods to include in your diet to prevent the flu?

1. Fresh juices including carrots, kale, and apples.
2. Salads, specifically with dark leafy greens (romaine, baby kale, swiss chard). These foods are “alive” and full of chlorophyll and natural antioxidants.
3. Colorful berries.

Homeopathic Ways To Treat The Flu

There is a brand new, over-the-counter (OTC), homeopathic throat and nasal spray formulated to provide relief from cold and flu-like symptoms. FluNada was formulated to provide relief from cold and flu-like symptoms, and designed to inhibit replication of cold and flu viruses. The zinc-free formula can be sprayed into your mouth and nasal passages, right where the germs try to enter your body. Ingredients for the formula include a natural blend of mint, gaultheria, eucalyptus and elderberry herbs. It has been laboratory tested by two independent laboratories and found to be 99.9% effective against multiple cold and flu strains, including bird flu, swine flu, and other viruses. FluNada is sold at retail pharmacies nationwide.

In addition, you can take supplements. The best immune boosting supplements include natural forms of Vitamin C, Vitamin D, a microalgae called astaxanthin, and beta-glucan, and a medicinal mushroom extract, are all highly recommended.

Suzy-Cohen-headshotAbout the Expert

Suzy Cohen, RPh and America's Most Trusted Pharmacist™ has been a licensed pharmacist for over two decades and has experience in retail, hospital, and long-term care. Cohen is the author of "Dear Pharmacist", a syndicated health column which she has been writing for over a decade. It appears in newspapers nationwide, with a circulation upwards of twenty million depending on the week. As a homeopathic and holistic advocate, her readers seek her natural options and guidance on medication safety. She realizes the importance and need for medications, but prefers to think outside the pillbox.

Cohen is also the author of several best-selling books including “The 24-Hour Pharmacist” (Collins 2007), “Drug Muggers” (Rodale 2011), “Diabetes Without Drugs” (Rodale 2010) and “Headache Free” (2013). She has appeared on The View, The Dr. Oz show, Good Morning America, The 700 Club, Know the Cause, and television affiliates for FOX, ABC, CBS and NBC. Her articles and quotes have appeared in Reader's Digest, OK!, First for Women, Fitness, Natural Health, Better Homes & Garden and many others.

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