Butter and high fat milk may be your friend, after all.
The flu season hasn’t left us yet, even if temperatures are rising outside. It’s no time to start being too relaxed with that constant hand washing. Who wants to be face down in bed, when you can finally wear just a sweater outside, (in the north)?
Apart from being a hotbed for the flu, spring also seems to be the perfect time for stomach bugs to strike.
These viruses must like the changing weather as much as us.
But whatever the cause, they’re unfriendly, nasty beasts. As most of us know, they spread through contact, and so if you share someone’s food and they’re sick, or they had the virus on their hands and touched something that you picked up afterwards, you’re a prime victim for falling ill.
We get sick because the virus decides to set up house in our bodies. Washing your hands frequently, and not sharing your food can help to prevent falling ill, but that’s not all. Some sources say that other lifestyle factors can help, too.
There’s no cure all to prevent getting a norovirus, but having a strong immune system can help you get better quicker, if you do fall sick. Proper sleep and a healthy diet are assets. Some say that what we eat can make a difference.
Thehealthyhomeeconomist.com reports that people who drink whole milk and eat butter may be better protected against getting the stomach flu.
Drink Milk, Eat Butter
How does it work? Non-low fat cow’s milk products contain something called glycosphingolipids. These fats are said to possibly offer protection against stomach bugs. Eating a ton of fatty milk products and loading your bread up with butter may not be great for your heart, but eating these foods in moderation could be a good idea.
Related: The Health Benefits of Lemon Water
If you’re allergic or have a lactose sensitivity, obviously this advice isn’t for you. Try eating fermented foods instead, along with probiotics and milk alternatives.
For additional protection against getting the stomach flu, try eating foods that are naturally rich in vitamin C and E.
The benefits these offer is that both vitamins strengthen your immune system, and so while a good diet can’t prevent you from catching a stomach bug, it can make you more ready to fight one off, if you do get sick.
For vitamin C, stock up on oranges, grapefruit, cantaloupe, strawberries, blueberries and pineapple. While you’re at it, grab some broccoli, tomatoes, cauliflower, spinach and potatoes.
To get your recommended intake of vitamin E, eat vegetable oils, whole grains and seeds.
Focus on Soap and Water, Not Hand Sanitizer
It’s also good practice to wash your hands with soap and water instead of relying on alcohol-based hand sanitizers. Hand sanitizers are great when you’re in a bind, but reports indicate that while they ward off the respiratory flu, they don’t work on stomach bugs.
Stomach viruses are built a different way. Viruses that cause respiratory flu have an envelope around them that hand sanitizer bursts, but stomach bugs don’t have this container, making hand sanitizer ineffectual in destroying them, apparently.
If someone in your home is sick already, use the dishwasher to clean your dishes. It’s hotter and kills things off. Bleach all surface areas as well, and wash your clothes in hot water.
Hopefully you’re not worshiping the ceramic throne this season. Enjoy the fresh spring sun!