It is that magical time of year when it seems like you and everyone you know gets sick. Fortunately, you do not need a Christmas miracle to avoid catching the cold that is going around the office. A few good habits and immune boosting foods will help carry you through the cold and flu season.
- Lack of sleep: missing out on the sleep your body needs has a significant impact on your immune system’s responses . Make sure you get the sleep you need to keep your immune system in fighting shape.
- Lack of exercise: regular, moderate exercise (think 30 minute walk) everyday can help you fight off infection. People who do not exercise regularly are more likely to get colds .
- Stress: Stress hormones suppress the immune system . Try meditation, exercise, or spending time with friends to help manage your stress levels.
- Bad hygiene: Wash your hands and make sure you sneeze/cough into a tissue or your arm. The flu can be contracted by simply breathing in aerosolized saliva from a sneeze; so be considerate of other’s health.
- Yogurt with live, active cultures: Probiotics can help strengthen your immune system by maintaining healthy flora in your body. A study actually showed that probiotics can help reduce the number of sick days you take in a year .
- Garlic: contains allicin which fights infections and bacteria . Use garlic to flavor soups, breads and vegetables to reduce your chances of catching a cold.
- Black or Green Tea: Contain
L-theaninewhich boosts production of virus-fightinginterferon in the body.
- Mushrooms: Especially shiitake, maitake, and reishi. They increase production and activity of white blood cells . They’re also easy to add to your diet. Cook them into eggs, chicken noodle soup, or toss them on a frozen pizza before it goes in the oven.
2.”Immune System Boosters and Busters.” WebMD. Ed. Michael W. Smith, MD. WebMD, 24 Oct. 2013. Web. 17 Dec. 2013.
3.Probiotic use leads to fewer sick days: study.(Brief Article). (2005). Nutraceuticals International,
4.MacMillan, Amanda, and Tamara Schryver. “9 Power Foods That Boost Immunity.”Prevention. Prevention Magazine, n.d. Web. 17 Dec. 2013.