Natural ways to protect your family from the flu without vaccines

(WXYZ) - An herbal pharmacist reveals some natural ways to protect your family from the flu this season and one surprising thing you should avoid.

David Foreman, RPh, says the flu shot only protects against three out of hundreds of strains of the flu, so it's important to add supplements to your diet for an extra layer of protection.

He says Japanese green tea is especially effective in fighting the flu because it provides a boost to your immune system.

He also recommends probiotic vitamins. He says both of these supplements begin working within three days.

Foreman also says the most important food to avoid this winter is sugar.

"Sugar decreases the effectiveness of your immune system," Foreman said. "As little as seven teaspoons of sugar will blow out an adult's immune system 50 percent for about eight hours."

Plenty of rest and exercise will also keep the immune system functioning at the highest level, Foreman says.

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