The leaves are changing and so is your immune system. The start of a new season can be exciting but with that also comes new germs, allergies, and viruses that can really put a damper on your fall break plans. We can’t all get nine hours of sleep and keep stress at a low level, but that doesn’t mean you can’t take other measures to help build your immune system. Avoid your seasonal trip to the doctor by trying these preventative measures!
If you want to avoid the NyQuil night cap that comes with a cold, hold off on the alcohol. Drinking alcohol can actually compromise your immune system. Alcohol leaves you a little more vulnerable to illnesses specifically lung infections. If your co-workers are sick and your starting to feel the familiar signs of a cold skip happy hour this week and double down on your water intake.
Say Yes to Garlic
Instead of avoiding the heavy garlic foods at dinner tonight, go for the garlic. Garlic is actually a friend of your immune system, so throw it your meals during this cold and flu season. Remember that high temperatures can decrease the anti-viral properties in the garlic so add it in when your food has been mostly cooked to ensure the helpful properties stay put!
Whip up a Smoothie
Fruits and veggies are the number one recommendation when it comes to boosting your immune system. Throw your colorful fruits and veggies into a blender to ensure you get those bacteria fighting servings. While you’re at it throw in some greek yogurt for the probiotics (the friendly bacteria) that also help fight infection and boost your immune system.
Laugh a Little
Laughing is the medicine for everything, right? Sort of. Laughing is actually a tip for both mental and physical health! Laughing reduces stress hormones and also helps the production of white blood cells that fight off infection. So maybe swap your weekly crime drama for a comedy if you feel yourself getting sick. Give your funniest friend a call and get those white blood cells going!
Skip the dessert
Too much sugar in your diet can make you feel good in the moment, but actually harm your immune system. A high sugar intake can decrease the number of cells in your immune system that fight off harmful bacteria. Resist the urge to cure a sore throat with ice cream and opt for a less sugary remedy.
Load up your favorite podcasts and hit the gym or head out for a walk. Exercise helps reduce the chance of respiratory infections and flush bacteria from your lungs. The physical benefits of exercise regularly has are a plus as well. Shedding a few pounds can help boost your immune system and heighten the effectiveness of the flu shot if you choose to get it.
Soak up Some Vitamin D
We all know sunlight can be sparse during the fall, but 10 minutes is all it takes to start the production of vitamin D that helps boost your immune system. So open the windows or head to the park for a few minutes of sickness fighting sun.
How are you fighting off cold and flu season? Let us know in the comments below!