Whatever the season, maintaining a healthy immune system is your first defense for warding off any colds or flu.
Besides getting plenty of rest, exercise and dressing for the weather, try these tips for keeping yourself out of the doctor's office.
Fruits and Vegetables
Left to right: Green beans, Purple Hull beans, carrots, blueberries and blackberries .
Make sure you aren't slacking on your daily servings of fruits and vegetables. Chock yourself full of vitamins, minerals and fiber. Making sure you get enough of these delicious gems in your diet can really boost your energy and immunity.
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention says research shows that fruits and vegetables are critical to promoting good health. To get the amount that's recommended, most people need to increase the amount of fruits and vegetables they eat every day.
Their website has a great tool to help you calculate the minimum amount of veggies and fruits you should consume daily.
Top: Flax seeds and black beans. Bottom: Red lentils and oat bran.
A diet high in soluble fiber helps prepare your body to fight off infections. Citrus fruits, apples, carrots beans and oats are all rich in soluble fiber that can also aid in reducing inflammation. Make sure to keep eating insoluble fibers as well – whole grains, nuts, leafy greens – for boosting your overall health.
Approximately 80 percent of your immunity lives in your tummy, where vitamins and minerals as well as toxins are absorbed every day. Probiotics help maintain a balance of good bacteria and give you protection against harmful bacteria, helping your body absorb the nutrition it needs.
This is probably a given, but seriously, fit some chill time into a hectic schedule to make sure you don't run yourself down. Being overly stressed can ultimately decrease your body's defense system. Try fitting in some yoga, long weekend vacation or just schedule some "you-time."
If you overdo it – late nights working or overplanning – you might end up with too much stress on your immune system to fight off a tedious infection.
Twinkle VanWinkle ponders, creates and discovers cool stuff about music, movies, food, fashion and so forth. Her thoughtful writings and interactives give great advice about healthy food, cooking tips, DIY projects, fashion and more. She'll teach you a thing or two about music as well. Along with producing dynamic lifestyle content for LIN Media, she is a mother, musician and social media fanatic.
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