Dr. Mehmet Oz is saying boo to the flu - and he's spreading the word (but not the germs) on how you can protect yourself and your family from the virus with his October 9 episode. Find out what you need to know for protection, prevention and panaceas. Plus: It wouldn't be autumn without a pumpkin recipe! Dr. Oz's featured recipe for October 9 is a tasty, healthy spiced pumpkin raisin cookie (see below).
Can you really outsmart the flu? Well, maybe. It helps to follow these steps to prevention:
- Get a flu shot.
- Wash your hands regularly.
- When you sneeze or cough, cover your mouth.
What should you do if despite your best efforts, you catch the flu? Dr. Oz recommends that you have these items on hand for your flu-fighting kit:
- Chicken soup: It's not an old wives' tale! Chicken soup really does help you battle the flu by thinning mucous. Choose a brand that is low in sodium, such as Pritikin Low Sodium Chicken Noodle Soup (click for details).
- Ibuprofen or acetaminophen: When it comes to fever, aches and pains, either ibuprofen or acetaminophen can help. Check with your own doctor if you're not sure which is right for you.
- Nasal decongestant: Can't sleep or focus because your nose is stuffed-up? A nasal decongestant can do the trick, such as Afrin Original Nasal Spray & Decongestant for Congestion Relief.
- Alcohol-based hand sanitizers or wipes: Not all hand sanitizers are created equal. Look for one that contains 60 to 95 percent alcohol .
Get in the mood for a healthy Halloween with Dr. Oz's recipe of the day: Spiced Pumpkin Raisin Cookies.
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 2/3 cup old-fashioned oats
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp fine salt
- 1/4 tsp ground allspice
- 3/4 cup raw sugar
- 1/2 cup canned pumpkin puree
- 1/3 cup vegetable oil
- 1 tbsp pure maple syrup
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup raisins
- Dash of flaxseed
Directions: Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350°F. Line 2 heavy large baking sheets with parchment paper.
In a medium bowl, combine the flour, oats, cinnamon, baking soda, salt and allspice. Stir to blend well. In a large bowl, combine the sugar, pumpkin puree, oil, syrup and vanilla; whisk to blend. Using a flexible rubber spatula, gradually stir the dry ingredients into the pumpkin mixture. Stir in the raisins.
For each cookie, drop 1 generous tablespoon of batter onto the prepared baking sheet, spacing the mounds about 1 inch apart (or use a mini ice cream scoop). Using moistened fingertips, flatten each to a 2-inch-diameter round. Sprinkle each cookie with a bit more raw sugar.
Bake the cookies until brown and a bit firm to the touch, 17 to 20 minutes. Using a metal spatula, transfer the cookies to a rack and cool completely.