Foods to Help Boost Immunity

 

Although no amount of the right kinds of food can prevent or cure illness, healthy nutrition can help boost your immunity. A trip to the grocery store is a great way to prevent colds, the flu, and other infections. Many of our favorite foods have the nutrients we need to boost our immune system:

Citrus Fruits

One of the best foods to boost your immune system are citrus fruits. Citrus fruits are high in vitamin C, which is thought to increase the production of white blood cells. These white blood cells fight off infections in our body. Thankfully, there are many citrus fruits that are high in vitamin C. These include oranges, grapefruit, lemons, limes, tangerines, and clementines. Next time you’re at the grocery store, be sure to add some of these to your cart.

Red Bell Peppers

Another kitchen staple that is great for building up immunity is red bell peppers. Red bell peppers are easy to add to some of your favorite dishes and are rich in beta carotene, which is converted into vitamin A by your body for healthy eyes and skin. Red bell pepper also has three times as much vitamin C as an orange. You can easily add this nutritious vegetable to your next stir-fry, lasagna, pizza, or even on taco night. 

Garlic

One of the best ways to add supreme flavor and nutrients to your next meal is by adding in garlic. Garlic is great for fighting infections and can slow down the hardening of the arteries. There is also some evidence that it may help lower blood pressure. The heavy concentration of sulfur-containing compounds, such as allicin, is what makes garlic a powerful immune booster. 

Yogurt

A tasty treat with immune-boosting nutrients is yogurt. Yogurts with the phrase “live and active cultures” printed on the label are exactly what you need. These yogurts have disease-fighting cultures that are able to stimulate your immune system. It is also a fantastic source of vitamin D, which can help regulate your body’s immune system. Be sure sure to go with plain yogurt to avoid sugar and dress it up with fruits, granola, and honey to make it sweeter. 

Do I have a Cold or is it the Flu?

Do I Have a Cold or is it the Flu_

Fall is here and with the change in weather comes the start of cold and flu season. The common cold and the flu both share some of the same symptoms that make it hard to tell which one you’re coming down with.

Both the flu and a cold are viral infections spread through coming in contact with germs from someone already infected. A cold and the flu both develop in stages where certain symptoms start to emerge as the infection develops in your body.

Common cold symptoms

The cold usually starts off with a sore throat which goes away within a day or two. A runny nose, congestion, a cough, and nasal symptoms appear by the fourth or fifth day of feeling under the weather. A runny nose will also start within the first few days and as the cold progresses, the mucus will become thicker and darker. While a fever isn’t common with a cold in adults, children will sometimes run a low to mild fever for a day or two.

Flu symptoms

Symptoms for the flu are much more severe than the symptoms of a cold. You can come down with the flu within a couple days of coming into contact with the virus. The symptoms usually come on quickly and are much more severe than the symptoms of a common cold. Within the first couple days of coming into contact with the virus, you will start to develop a sore throat, fever, headache, muscle aches and soreness, congestion, and a cough.

Most flu symptoms start to improve over the course of 2 – 5 days, but it is not uncommon for the flu to leave someone feeling run down for longer periods of time.

Is it a cold or the flu?

One of the best ways to determine if it’s a cold or the flu is to check your temperature. While the flu mimics a cold, the flu will also come with a fever above 100 degrees. You will also feel completely miserable and have body and muscle aches as well. The common cold rarely comes with a fever above 100 degrees and while you will be tired and a little run down, you will still have enough energy to go about your day.

Remember, a cold or the flu are spread through direct contact with surfaces where cold or flu germs have been spread. This happens through sneezing or coughing. Person-to-person transmission can also happen when someone touches their nose or mouth and then touches someone or something else.

Cold and flu germs can live up to 24 hours on any hard surface. Make sure you are washing your hands and not touching your mouth, eyes, and nose during cold and flu season. Not only will this keep germs from spreading, but it will help keep you healthy too!

4 Ways to Make Big Impacts on Your Health

When people hear their doctors recommend lifestyle changes, they often envision a complete overhaul of their way of living. Making changes in your life to live healthier doesn’t have to be drastic or immediate. You can take things one step at a time and make changes that won’t force you to sacrifice too much, yet these simple changes can have a long-lasting and positive impact on your health.

  1. Create Positive Morning Habits

You can begin to change your life by choosing healthier habits to employ in your daily morning ritual. Again, you don’t have to completely overhaul your lifestyle. Maybe just add a five minute meditation session or get up 20 minutes early, so you can fit in some yoga. Over time, these practices will become second nature and you won’t even remember a time when you didn’t meditate.

  1. Add More Protein to Your Morning Meal

Another good morning practice is to add more protein to your breakfast. In addition to giving us more energy and improving our mood, a high-protein breakfast can actually help us sleep better in the evenings. The ingestion of proteins will promote the production of serotonin in the brain. In addition to elevating our moods, serotonin also helps the flow of melatonin, which is the neurotransmitter responsible for promoting better sleep.

  1. You’re Not Drinking Enough Water

Most people think they do drink enough water, but you’re probably not drinking as much as you should. Bear in mind that our bodies are 70% water and that water is used to fuel virtually every biological process. It can help dilute sugar, which means your glucose levels will be better regulate, and it can improve blood flow throughout the body. You should be drinking half of your body weight in water each day.

  1. Help Your Body Detox

No, you don’t need to add juice smoothies to your routine. In fact, all you really have to do is stop snacking late at night. The liver begins a regeneration cycle between 11 p.m. and 3 a.m. each night, but that process can be inhibited, if your body is digesting snacks at that time. Simply laying off the late night snacks and giving your body time to regenerate can help you live and feel healthier.

If you’re drinking enough water, this shouldn’t be a problem, since you will be getting up to use the bathroom more frequently. At the very least, you should be standing up every few hours to get the blood circulating and the heart pumping a little faster. Just by getting on your feet every few hours, you can reduce your risks of weight gain, osteoporosis, and cardiovascular disease.

While each of these are minor changes, they can have lasting benefits to your health. As you make them a part of your normal routine, you may feel motivated to make other changes as well. Before you know it, you’ll be living a healthier life.