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How Food Can Help To Prevent Flu

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Food that prevents flu

Some foods can help to prevent flu. In this story Dr. Mark Hyman shares easy food tips from 'The Daniel Plan.' Here is Dr. Hyman in his own words.


With an increasing outbreak of the influenza virus and a questionable vaccine, food can serve as an asset for keeping immune systems strong this flu season. In The New York Times No. 1 bestseller, "The Daniel Plan: 40 Days to a Healthier Life," Dr. Mark Hyman discusses the long and short-term health effects of the food individuals consume.

"Food is medicine," Hyman says. "Food has the power to heal us. It is the most potent tool we have to help prevent and treat many illnesses. The solution is in each of our hands. Literally. What we put on our forks dictates whether we are sick or well."

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Below are a few tips for influenza prevention that Dr. Hyman recommends.

  • Drink plenty of fluids, especially warmer fluids to support all of the bodies' functions including the immune system. Drink options: herbal teas like ginger and Echinacea daily, filtered water—avoid concentrated fruit juices and sweetened beverages, as the sugar content is harmful for the immune system.
  • Avoid simple sugars and white flour because these suppress your immune system for hours after ingested.
  • Have protein with each meal. Proteins are the building blocks of the body. This includes your immune and detoxification systems.
  • Add garlic, onions, ginger, and lots of spices (oregano, turmeric) to your meals because they offer wide spectrum antimicrobial properties.
  • Eat multiple servings of colorful fruits and vegetables high in vitamins C, A, and phytonutrients that support the immune system. Choose more leafy greens, cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and cauliflower), peppers, sweet potatoes, and squashes.

"The Daniel Plan: 40 Days to a Healthier Life" (ISBN: 9780310344292, $24.99), provides a revolutionary plan to form lasting habitual lifestyles by combining the essential elements of faith, friends and focus with food and fitness. "The Daniel Plan" is co-authored by Dr. Rick Warren, founding pastor of Saddleback Church; Dr. Mark Hyman, a family physician and Functional Medicine expert; and Dr. Daniel Amen, a physician and double-board certified psychiatrist.

Written by Mark Hyman, M.D., who is a practicing family physician, an eight-time No. 1 New York Times bestselling author, and an internationally recognized leader, speaker, educator and advocate in his field of Functional Medicine. He is the Director of the Cleveland Clinic Center for Functional Medicine.