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A Powerful And Natural Way To Prevent The Flu

powerful-natural-flew-prevention

Flu season: most people dread it and are frightened by their doctors and the mainstream media. Especially when, as it’s happening now in the U.S., it has turned into an epidemic. But what if there was a safe, natural, and effective way to fight the flu… and what if this treatment actually tasted good? There is such a way, and it does more than just that. It also helps your bones.

Much of the fear and hype about flu season is misplaced and exaggerated. The vaccine is touted as the end-all and be-all of flu prevention, and the message the media and the Medical Establishment send makes it sound as if you’re in big trouble if you don’t get the flu shot. But this is definitely hyperbole, and sometimes such scare tactics are based on information that is flat-out wrong (such as the erroneous claim that the flu claims tens of thousands of lives a year).

How Effective Is the Flu Shot, Anyway?

As a Save Our Bones community member, you already know that research has shown that the efficacy of the flu shot is poor, at best. And the fact that the flu vaccine is developed from the previous year’s strain, making for a lot of guesswork in the formulation of the current year’s shot, is an added detriment.

This year, it seems that one strain of the flu shot actually matches a current strain of flu – A/Victoria/361/2011 (H3N2)-like virus. That’s only one of the three strains that were selected for the 2013 vaccination. The other two are A/California/7/2009 (H1N1)-like virus and B/Wisconsin/1/2010-like virus.

But according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), “Preliminary data for the 2010-2011 influenza season indicate that influenza vaccine effectiveness was about 60% for all age groups combined, and that almost all influenza viruses isolated from study participants were well-matched to the vaccine strains (Unpublished CDC data).”.1 So even with well-matched strains, barely more than half of the population is supposedly “protected” from catching the flu!

And besides, the flu vaccine contains toxic chemicals – acidifying preservatives and stabilizers, one of which (Beta-propiolactone) is considered carcinogenic.

Fortunately, there are many ways to fight the flu without resorting to a dangerous vaccine. Let’s talk about one tasty alternative to the flu vaccine, and how it works.

Yogurt – Simple Yet Powerful

Yes, yogurt – that creamy, fermented dairy product that is so versatile in the kitchen and enjoyed all over the world. It’s also an important weapon in your battle against the flu virus. And if you’re following the Save Our Bones Program, you may be eating it often. If so, you’ll be especially glad you are, as you continue reading.

Now when I talk about yogurt, I am not referring to the sugary, sweetened kind that comes in various fancy flavors and colors (such as cheesecake and chocolate mousse). The most healthful, bone-boosting, flu-fighting yogurt is…

Unsweetened, Plain, and Organic

It used to be hard to find plain, unsweetened, organic yogurt in the grocery store, but nowadays you shouldn’t have any trouble finding it in the dairy section of your local supermarket. My regular readers already know this, but it bears repeating: sugar greatly compromises the immune system, so eating sugar in yogurt would defeat its healthful purpose.

Why is this fermented food so powerful against the flu?

Yogurt Boosts Immune Response

The reason we get sick is more than just exposure to a pathogen; it’s really the state of our immune system that determines whether or not we get ill. So keeping the immune system in top shape is a significant priority, especially this time of year.

The probiotics in yogurt (the healthful bacteria that cause the yogurt to ferment) actually stimulate the secretion of pro-inflammatory cytokines.2 They are produced by immune cells to amplify inflammatory reactions that will trigger a faster immune response to attack any threat present in the body.

Additionally, yogurt has been found to normalize the immune response and speed recovery time.3 In a study published in the Annals of Nutrition and Metabolism,4 yogurt consumption (in this case, 6 ounces daily) was shown to increase the number of white blood cells significantly. And the immune cells (particularly lymphocytes) actually increased in their immune defense capability. So yogurt consumption resulted not only in more white blood cells, but in more effective white blood cells.

Bone Health Benefits of Yogurt

Yogurt has some specifically bone-healthy attributes. For one thing, it is very nutrient-dense, meaning it has a lot of nutrients for each calorie. It is listed in the Save Our Bones Program as an alkalizing Foundation Food because it’s rich in calcium and zinc. It also contains other bone-healthy nutrients, including vitamins B2, B5, B12 and potassium.

In addition, yogurt contains a substance that…

Boosts the Body’s Ability to Build Bone

If you leave yogurt undisturbed, a clear, yellowish liquid comes to the top. Before you eat the yogurt, don’t pour it off – stir it back in! This liquid is whey (which is removed to make Greek yogurt), and it contains a powerful nutrient called lactoferrin.

Lactoferrin is sort of the opposite of bisphosphonates – it affects bone resorption and deposition naturally, actually stimulating the growth and activity of bone-building cells (osteoblasts).5 Notably, lactoferrin also inhibits cytokines, just like the probiotics noted above.

Yogurt sure packs a healthful punch! So here’s a recipe to help you enjoy its wonderful taste and bone health benefits:

Pumpkin “Ice Cream” Delight

Cozy up to the creamy goodness of ice cream in this bone-healthy and immune-boosting treat.

2 Servings

Ingredients:

1 cup plain yogurt
1 cup almond milk or your favorite milk substitute
1/4 teaspoon stevia
1/2 cup pumpkin puree
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice (optional)

Directions:

Combine all of the ingredients in a blender or food processor. Blend until smooth.

Place in a covered container in the freezer, stirring the mixture every half hour until it reaches the desired consistency.

Enjoy!

References

1 http://www.cdc.gov/flu/about/qa/vaccineeffect.htm
2 Meyer, AL, et al. “Probiotic, as well as conventional yogurt, can enhance the stimulated production of proinflammatory cytokines.” Journal of Human Nutrition and Dietetics. 2007 Dec;20(6):590-8.Web. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18001380
3 Baharav E, Mor F, Halpern M, Weinberger A. “Lactobacillus GG Bacteria Ameliorate Arthritis in Lewis Rats.” Journal of Nutrition. Web. http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=124
4 Fabian E, Elmadfa I. “Influence of daily consumption of probiotic and conventional yoghurt on the plasma lipid profile in young healthy women.” Annals of Nutrition and Metabolism. 2006;50(4):387-93. Epub 2006 Jun 30 . 2006. PMID:16816529. Web. http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=124
5 Cornish J, Callon KE, Naot D, Palmano KP, Banovic T, Bava U, Watson M, Lin JM, Tong PC, Chen Q, Chan VA, Reid HE, Fazzalari N, Baker HM, Baker EN, Haggarty NW, Grey AB, Reid IR. “Lactoferrin is a potent regulator of bone cell activity and increases bone formation in vivo.” Endocrinology. 2004 Sep;145(9):4366-74. 2004. PMID:15166119. Web. http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=124

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68 comments. Leave Yours Now →

  1. Talita June 13, 2014, 9:56 pm

    Wow, I think you will be a great OB. It seems like you have a real love for children, faemiils, and people in general. Sad to say that those qualities are rare traits in todays world. I believe not just anyone should be in just any job because you could be in a job that you hate and end up making everyone who comes in contact with you at work miserable. You have the joy and care to be great at your job and effect those you will be working around not only by your knowledge , but by your love for what you do.

  2. Michele August 22, 2013, 2:59 pm

    Is plain nonf-fat greek yogurt a good product for your bones?

  3. Kim February 26, 2013, 8:19 am

    I am wondering if yogurt is something that people with allergies to milk should stay away from, or because it is fermented that it would be okay.

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA February 26, 2013, 1:25 pm

      Kim, when it comes to food allergies, it’s not a good idea to “try and see.” I definitely recommend that you speak with your allergist or doctor before trying yogurt if you have dairy allergies! :)

  4. Mary Baird February 4, 2013, 2:04 pm

    Regarding yogurt and fighting flu. . . I wonder if the low-fat variety of plain unsweetened organic yogurt is ok – or do I need the whole milk variety for all of the immune boosting and bone building benefits? Does lowering or removing fat also remove whey as does the process for Greek varieties?

    • Teriza February 8, 2013, 2:42 pm

      Low fat means high carb. Beats the scope of trying to achieve a healthy lifestyle.
      Good fats as in yoghurt ( hopefully homemade with raw milk) help keep insulin levels down. Too much production of insulin leads to weight gain and eventually may cause diabetes.
      Kefir is even better.

  5. Allison January 22, 2013, 12:54 pm

    I would like to try probotics as a supplement. Do you think the New Chapter Organic supplement is as good as Align?? What are your recommendateions??

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA January 22, 2013, 2:19 pm

      Allison, when it comes to probiotic supplements, I recommend the type that does not have to be refrigerated or that list refrigeration as optional. This is because the supplements tend not to be refrigerated during transport. So I suggest playing it safe and going for the non-refrigerated variety! And speaking of variety, it’s not a bad idea to switch probiotic supplement brands now and then to give your gut flora lots of variety. :)

  6. Marlene Russell January 22, 2013, 8:17 am

    I just want to thank you for everything. I really appreciate all that you do for us. I’m so happy for this recipe for “ice cream”. My grand children will love it too.

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA January 22, 2013, 2:20 pm

      You are most welcome, Marlene! Please let us know how your grandchildren like the “ice cream.” :D

  7. Yvonne Wagner January 21, 2013, 7:24 am

    Hi, in reading your recommendation to remove sugar from the diet, I find I agree totally. Replacing sugar with non caloric substitutes is a very valued suggestion, though not a new one. we all remember the Aspartame and other sweeteners that though non calorific proved dangerous in so many other ways. Fructose being Fruit sugar is another, this sweetner is also ‘natural’ though divorced by processing from the frits fibre and vitamins.
    Along comes Stevia, also like fructose, natural we are told from a South American plant. Has no effect on blood sugar so great for diabetics, etc’,etc’. However, we must remember that for those perhaps few people, (of which I am one), highly sensitive to Insulin’s unhealthful effects, even the taste of sweetness leads to elevated insulin levels ! Elevated and or prolonged elevated blood Insulin levels whether caused by increased blood glucose levels or any other reason are not helpful in any way. I am not referring to the inc in Insulin as a normal response to diet here.
    Pleaase coment, with thanks,Y.W.

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA January 21, 2013, 9:30 am

      Excellent point, Yvonne. It’s always crucial to take your own individual health and situation into consideration when making any dietary or lifestyle decisions! Deciding what sweetener you will use is a personal, individual choice that only you can make.

      It might interest you to know that stevia may actually stabilize blood sugar levels, thereby compensating for any effects from the sweet taste. Here is a link to a study you ma find interesting:

      http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20303371

      Have a wonderful week!

  8. Sergio Martínez Sierra January 19, 2013, 3:21 pm

    It’s true! I never thought that the yogurt had those benefits. I took two natural yogurts farming every day and instead of sugar I add granola, oats and raisins. And I have no colds very long time and when ever I have it, the symptoms are very mild. No doubt helped by the fact daily eat two oranges, other fruits and add lemon in my diet.

  9. rita hobbs January 18, 2013, 12:54 pm

    I was told not to eat any dairy products because of brain injuries (concussion). Is yogurt ok?
    Each time I eat yogurt, I notice mucus in my throat. What is that about?
    I love your book, “Save our Bones”. I treasure it!!!
    I read and save every email that you send. Thank you soooooo much !
    God bless you.

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA January 22, 2013, 2:17 pm

      Rita, I would definitely recommend that you speak to your doctor about that – if he or she said to stay away from dairy because of other health issues, it’s important to check with him/her before eating yogurt! While you are speaking to your doctor, you can ask about taking probiotic supplements – many people who can’t tolerate dairy do well with supplements. :)

  10. Joan January 17, 2013, 7:30 pm

    I have never had a flu shot i eat plenty of garlic, lemons,veg, fruit, every day never take anything for colds except food. I think you are what you eat i believe garlic is the greatest for keeping away the colds so to all you ladys out there have it in your shopping every day it’s great.

    I

  11. GJ January 16, 2013, 7:49 am

    I thought yoghurt was made from cows milk, which you claim to be bad

    • Susan Meusel January 22, 2013, 11:30 am

      Thanks for the tip but I stay a way fro dairy, is there something else I can have instead? How about goat yoghurt?

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA January 16, 2013, 3:48 pm

      Hi GJ,
      As I write in the Save Our Bones program, fermented dairy is fine! Plain, unsweetened, organic yogurt is a far cry from acidifying, store-bought cow’s milk. :)

    • Janet UK January 16, 2013, 2:46 pm

      Hi!

      I’m a vegetarian and use soya milk! Rather than take all the prescribed pills for my osteoporosis, I would rather have the daily yogart ‘Calin’ like I said before! I think Vivian already said that yogart is OK for you!

  12. Arlene Sulkis January 15, 2013, 10:05 pm

    Can I sweeten organic plain yogurt with honey?

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA January 16, 2013, 3:44 pm

      Honey, especially raw and organic, is alkalizing. So by all means, drizzle a bit on your plain yogurt!

  13. Diane January 15, 2013, 1:54 pm

    what do you think of oatstraw extract for osteoporosis

  14. Patricia January 15, 2013, 1:31 am

    Vivian, Aloha from Hawaii, I sent an earlier comment about Citris Fruit, but now I will drop the Bomb Fresh Ginger as tea or on food.. NOT TO MENTION GARLIC!!!!!!!

  15. tom burr January 15, 2013, 1:21 am

    Well young lady You have it down pat. I’m a 80 yr old what they call Shit fasrmer. And I have never taken a flu shot in my life. Having had a small farm I have turned into a wild life area. My beautifull lady lost to cancer in 95 and I find it a disapointment to go on alone. I have to say you have it together. Honest words. I will do as you say and use the plain yogurt.Isn’t stevia a product found lately insome other country to replace sugar? Its properties are better then sugar. Thank for your information. Burr

  16. Patricia January 15, 2013, 1:09 am

    I am sorry, but I don’t do dairy, and I don’t believe yougurt will stop the flu. I DO KNOW THAT FRESHLY SQUEEZED CITRIS WILL. This I guarantee, Oranges, Grapefruit, Lemons and Lime all work perfectly .. Check it out!

  17. joyce Cormack January 14, 2013, 11:48 pm

    Vivian:
    I never get a flu shot, having experienced a terrible allergic or ? effect decades ago. the last few years I have nipped it in the bud by tracing the symptoms back to a negative mental state and then eliminating that.
    I will never have a flu shot again and do not trust the medical folks.
    joyce

  18. bettyanne timmer January 14, 2013, 10:09 pm

    are yogurt and cottage cheese the same product or are they totally
    different??? they both contain probiotics or is the whey contain
    different?

  19. Kathy Edgren January 14, 2013, 9:27 pm

    When making your own yoghurt, try culturing it for a full 24 hours as recommended on the GAPS diet. That way there are even more helpful bacteria and the lactose is reduced.

  20. Denise January 14, 2013, 8:27 pm

    Dear vivian
    is organis milk good for your bone?

  21. Denise January 14, 2013, 8:24 pm

    Dear Vivian
    Is organic milk good for your bones? Thanks

  22. Rosemarie Beyrouty January 14, 2013, 7:23 pm

    I am an insulin dependent diabetic, 2 weeks ago I came down with the flu and was put on a high dosage of antibiotics for bronchitis / pneumonia. Today I had a breathing attack – could not get air, had to rush on to the balcony for fresh air. I thought I would die. What could I do to prevent the recurrence of such an attack?

  23. Elaine January 14, 2013, 6:53 pm

    yea, I am happy to read about the flu shot again. Since I read what u said this my 3rd year without. Have not been sick enough to go to doctor. I am getting more flack from folks then I am converting. Like my choice and glad to have seen this about now. Thanks.

  24. Margaret Redwood January 14, 2013, 5:13 pm

    I have just purchased TrueOsteo and am concerned about the level of K2 and D3 which I understand should be balanced in some way, would you recommend increasing the amount of both. I live in Scotland and the sunshine is an infrequent visitor and largely only seen on TV.

  25. Barbara January 14, 2013, 4:09 pm

    I am allergic to dairy products so what would be a good substitute for yogurt? What about soy yogurt?

    Thanks for all the helpful information.

  26. Shula January 14, 2013, 3:46 pm

    Thanks,

    Shula

  27. Ivy Chang January 14, 2013, 3:33 pm

    I cannot eat any dairy products, including yogurt, because I’m severely lactose intolerant. Also, I am gluten sensitive and don’t eat any wheat or sugar. I do take calcium supplements and extra vitamin D3 for bone health but am looking for other types of food to help strengthen bones. Do soy milk and soy products count? I’ve been eating soy since I was a child.

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA January 15, 2013, 12:19 am

      I understand your concerns, Ivy – lactose intolerance is not uncommon. Some people find yogurt easier to digest than non-fermented dairy, though, due to the probiotics. :) I recommend almond milk as a healthful milk substitute!

  28. eileen January 14, 2013, 3:33 pm

    cant wait to get ingredients for your recipe. thank you very much

  29. Leslie (MS. L.) January 14, 2013, 2:28 pm

    Hi! Vivian,

    This Is Very Good To Know About! I LOVE YOGURT! And That Recipe SOUNDS DELICIOUS! Thank You VERY MUCH For Sharing This Article With Us!

    LOVE, LESLIE ( MS. L.)

  30. barbara January 14, 2013, 2:08 pm

    I am SO confused!!!!! I thought we were to avoid dairy for the sake of our bone health… isn’t yogurt a dairy product?

    • Susan January 14, 2013, 3:04 pm

      Barbara, fermented dairy products like yogurt, kefir, sour cream and buttermilk are okay on the plan. You just want to try to limit or eliminate regular dairy products like milk and cheeses. I didn’t totally eliminate and got my bone mass back in the normal range in 2 1/2 years.

    • Jess January 14, 2013, 2:19 pm

      I still side on limiting dairy, if not eliminating it. This article speaks mostly of the benefits of probiotics and vitamins that don’t require dairy consumption on order to be had.

  31. Bettie W. Wright January 14, 2013, 2:03 pm

    Do you use the colloidal Silver before or after you get th flue?

    • Malin Watson January 14, 2013, 11:31 pm

      You can take some everyday as preventative or take as you get sick. You can not overdose. How much and when depends on the product but a good source is http://www.se1.us/colloidalsilver

  32. Bettie W. Wright January 14, 2013, 1:57 pm

    I eat plain Greek yogart and if I want to sweeten it I use honey. Thank you, sincerely Bettie

  33. Malin Watson January 14, 2013, 1:40 pm

    The BEST and most effective way to aid in healing any virus is COLLOIDAL SILVER. I’t nature’s antibiotic..

  34. Donna January 14, 2013, 12:44 pm

    When you freeze yogurt (like in you pumpkin ice cream recipe), the probiotics are killed off, no?

    • Jess January 14, 2013, 1:54 pm

      I would say No. I’ve read a book on yogurt making. You can actually freeze a yogurt culture up to 6 mo., I believe, before it needs replacing. The low temperatures slow the probiotic activity down, but they are not killed by the sole fact that a frozen culture can still be used to make more yogurt.

  35. Nancy January 14, 2013, 12:31 pm

    Not being a “kitchen” person, need to know more about pumpkin puree in the yogurt recipe..Thanks!

  36. Connie January 14, 2013, 12:19 pm

    I like plain unsweetened greek yogurt, I add fresh/frozen unsweetened berries to add flavor. Is adding the berries acceptable?

  37. Willowdean Schleining January 14, 2013, 11:07 am

    I like to use apple butter on my yougart is this O.k.?

  38. Maribeth TENNISON January 14, 2013, 10:52 am

    Thank you

  39. Josephine Raj January 14, 2013, 10:09 am

    This is good about the yogurt that help your bones as well as the cold & flu. Thank you for this info.

  40. John January 14, 2013, 9:59 am

    In 1944 before penicillin became the wonder drug, creditable work was done with Vit A as a cure for a respiratory infection. It worked. About 2 years ago research was done that showed that a virus (flu bug) could not exist in a concentration of 25,000 units of Vit A. In the 1944 controlled study done with 125 subjects, 140,000 units of Vit A was given the first day and 70,000 the second day. No one needed the third dose. Vit A in this concentration over several days would be toxic. It could also cause birth defects, so women should proceed with caution. I’m a fan of Vit D too, but not mega doses.

  41. Ciael Hills January 14, 2013, 9:48 am

    Thank you so much for lending support to my sense that getting a flu shot is not the only way to stay healthy.
    I will take those probiotics that are sitting around in my cupboard AND the next yogurt I buy will be the natural unsweetened organic kind. Is sweetening with honey okay.
    Thanks for all your good advice.
    Ciael

  42. jean January 14, 2013, 6:22 am

    VIT D SUPPLEMENT EXCESS causes BIG problems it is toxic if you dont need it get your levels checked before going down that route. I ended up in A & E after fainting and other problems due to too much Vit D3. Take care.

  43. JoAnne January 14, 2013, 5:59 am

    Please provide us the brand names of plain,unsweetened, organic yogurts that we are able to purchase to save time. What about Trader Joe’s store? Thanks.

  44. Paulline January 14, 2013, 5:56 am

    Vivian, do you have an alternative as I am vegan?

    • Jess January 14, 2013, 2:03 pm

      I’m not Vivian. But this article sights a bunch of vitamins and probiotics that you can get without consuming Dairy…besides the lactoferin.

  45. Jane Marbaix January 14, 2013, 5:49 am

    Regarding yogurt – why not suggest people make their own yogurt – the easiest way is to buy an inexpensive simple yogurt maker – and 8 hours later – or overnight – you have wonderful yogurt that does not need sugar as it has no bitter taste. Experiment using different kinds of milk. Thanks so much for the informative emails.
    Jane

  46. Derek O'Brien January 14, 2013, 5:30 am

    Good one about the yogurt Viv, but how about include and 8000 units of D3 a day? Good for the bones, exceptional for the immune system.

  47. Mari January 14, 2013, 4:29 am

    Hi Vivian,

    Thank you for your informative e-mails. Do you know of a sure-fire way to cut sugar cravings? I know that sugar greatly compromises immunity….and I am very worried about the flu etc. Yes, I do have stevia in the house and am looking at recipes but I work around sugary foods….they are always in my presence. Thanks so much for any attention given to this.

    • Greg January 14, 2013, 11:42 am

      Chromium is a mineral that helps control those. Take a look into that to see its benefits. Most diabetics are actually low in chromium and vanadium also. That’s why they have their urges for those carbohydrates.

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA January 14, 2013, 9:22 am

      Mari, I wish there were a magic formula to simply stop sugar cravings! Sugar cravings are complex body “signals” that are tied up in our biology. It really does make it hard to stay away from sugar! You might want to check out Slimtevia because it is more sugar-like in texture and taste than other stevia products. :)

      • joyce Cormack January 14, 2013, 11:42 pm

        thanks for the recipe for yogurt dessert. I love the 1% Greek yougurt, which also makes a whey–now I’ll keep that in the yogurt instead of pouring it off.
        Is it necessary to eat 6 oz. a day, or can I get good protection from 1-2 oz.?
        I’m a small 95 lb. person, and can’t eat huge amounts of any one food

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