Fall is upon us and winter is peeking around the corner, taunting us with thoughts of snow, sleet, and the flu. Unfortunately for those of you who may love the winter season, many dread it because of the fact that old man winter seems to bring the dreaded flu along with him. But, never fear, here are five tricks you can start right now to help ward off that flu bug and stay healthy this winter season, whether you enjoy the cold weather or not!
Eat Immune Building Foods – there are a number of tasty foods that actually stimulate a healthier immune response. In other words, eating these foods make your immune system better equipped to go to battle against all the flu viruses sure to be floating around the air this winter:
- Pomegranates – these ruby red gems have certainly gained popularity in recent years, and for good reason! High in antioxidants, pomegranates have been tested in clinical trials against flu-causing viruses. The result? Pomegranates, their extract, and juice all have the ability to inhibit the spread of the flu virus. So, why not add a glass of pomegranate juice to your daily regimen?
- Pumpkin – traditionally a cold weather treat, sweet potatoes come packed with beta-carotene, a powerful antioxidant which can help boost the body’s immune response. Of course, pumpkins do not have the corner on the market for beta-carotene, acorn squash, sweet potatoes, and carrots are tasty ways to get this great nutrient.
- Almonds – a quick and easy snack, almonds contain an element which may actually act as an antiviral agent, rather than simply working to build the immune system. Make those almonds whole, because the goodness seems to be in the skin.
- Yogurt – probiotics in yogurt help keep your gut healthy, which in turn improves your body’s overall immune response.
Stock Your Arsenal – as in every war, soldiers need to be equipped with weapons to match the strength of their opponents. In a war against the influenza virus, you need to have your cabinets equipped with the right supplements to help keep you healthy:
- Elderberry -this tiny berry packs a powerful punch. Numerous clinical studies confirm its efficacy against various strains of the influenza. If you feel the slightest twinges of the flu, consuming recommended amounts of elderberry extract could help save the day.
- Vitamin C – another powerful flu-fighter from nature, vitamin C has been proven to reduce the length and severity of the flu. Of course, many people also attest to its ability to keep the flu away when taken on a regular basis.
- Echinacea -is another proven flu fighter, used to build up immunity and ward of the flu bugs as they come into your body.
Get some Exercise – moderate exercise stimulates the body’s immune system, primarily through movement of the lymphatic system. People who engage in moderate activity, such as walking, for at least thirty minutes three to five per week have a greater resistance to colds and flu.
Add the Zzzz’s -sleep deprivation has devastating effects on your body’s immune system, causing measurable reduction in the T-cells that work to fight infection in the body. How much sleep do you need? Most researchers agree that seven to eight hours is best for most adults.
Laugh!!! – that’s right, take time to laugh and enjoy life. Research shows that laughter helps to relieve stress and actually increases those T-killer cells so important to your body’s immune response.
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