Your immune system is your best friend when it comes to avoiding colds, and, should you get a cold, the health of your immune system will play a vital role in how fast or slow you get over it. Let’s look at three ways you can get your immune system in tiptop shape for the fall cold and flu season.
The first thing you’ll want to feed your immune system is a nutritious, well balanced, vitamin packed diet. Here are four power food sources:
1. Yogurt – a cup of yogurt is full of live active cultures, or probiotics, which will help increase the number of good bacteria in your stomach and shore up your immune system defenses against nasty stomach bugs. The good thing about yogurt is that it comes in so many different flavors and textures that most anyone can find some type of yogurt they can at least tolerate eating, but, if not, you can always use it as a fruit dip or mix it into your cereal to lessen the yogurt taste.
2. Fortified cereal – skipping your morning meal only weakens your defenses against colds and flu, this according to a recent British study. One of the most vitamin packed morning meals is ironically plan old cereals. Just check out how many vitamins is in a box of Cheerios, Raisin Bran, Special K, and so on!
3. Green tea – it’s the amino acids in green tea that help to give your immune system a good boost.
4. Garlic – while garlic doesn’t necessarily stave off a cold, the sulfur-rich bulbs can help lessen the severity of a cold. This means a weaker bug and a faster recovery time for you.
If your eating habits aren’t ideal, allergies limit your diet, or such, then you can boost your immune system with a few inexpensive supplements. The most important ones are zinc, vitamin D 1,000 -2,000 IU per day, and vitamin C 500 to 1,000 mg per day. Oral probiotics, like Pearls or Phillips Colon Health, can be rather expensive, but they’re an alternative for those that don’t like the taste of yogurt or are intolerant. Acidophilus is cheaper, but remember that you get what you pay for in many cases.
Studies have shown that lifestyle choices,such as smoking and heavy drinking, and high stress levels can weaken the immune system. Smoking can damage the tiny hairs in your nose and airway that would otherwise keep bugs out of your body and help sweep stragglers out. Alcohol can weaken the white blood cells and make your defenses weak when it comes to fighting off germs. Stress and anxiety increases cortical levels, which in turn suppresses the immune system. Lack of sleep can also weaken one’s immune system since not getting adequate rest time decreases the production of germ fighting T-cells.