Dr. Taz MD’s Solutions for Living Healthy Naturally: Tis the [Flu] Season

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.

Immune Busters

  • Lack of sleep: missing out on the sleep your body needs has a significant impact on your immune system’s responses [1]. 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 [2].
  • Stress: Stress hormones suppress the immune system [2]. 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.

Immune Boosters

  • 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 [3].
  • Garlic: contains allicin which fights infections and bacteria [4]. Use garlic to flavor soups, breads and vegetables to reduce your chances of catching a cold.
  • Black or Green Tea: Contain L-theanine which boosts production ofvirus-fighting interferon in the body.
  • Mushrooms: Especially shiitake, maitake, and reishi. They increase production and activity of white blood cells [4]. 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.

Sources:

1.Wilder-Smith, A. A., Mustafa, F. B., Earnest, A. A., Gen, L. L., & MacAry, P. A. (2013). Impact of partial sleep deprivation on immune markers. Sleep Medicine, 14(10), 1031- 1034. doi:10.1016/j.sleep.2013.07.001

2.”Immune System Boosters and Busters.” WebMD. Ed. Michael W. Smith, MD. WebMD, 24 Oct. 2013. Web. 17 Dec. 2013. <http://www.webmd.com/cold-and-flu/10-immune-system-busters-boosters>.

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.<http://www.prevention.com/food/food-remedies/9-power-foods-boost-immunity/3-garlic>.

By | 2016-08-09T13:12:44+00:00 December 18th, 2013|Wellness|