November 1, 2012 by thehealthyheartcenter
Although flu season is inevitable, becoming sick does not have to be! There are ways to protect yourself against this pesky bug such as eating right, keeping active, getting enough sleep, and keeping stress to a minimum. It’s important to take care of yourself to keep your immune system at it’s peak.
There are several nutrients that are actually known to be immune-boosters:
1. Beta-carotene found in deep-yellow/orange fruits and vegetables, as well as dark leafy greens.
2. Vitamin C from many citrus fruits, berries, melons, tomatoes, and broccoli.
3. Vitamin B6 which comes from whole grains, legumes, and iron sources such as chicken and pork.
4. Vitamin E found in wheat germ, nuts, proteins such as dairy products, meat, fish, and legumes, and selenium and zinc found in meats and seafoods.
5. Pro-biotics, the beneficial bacteria in products such as yogurt, are also known to increase immunity.
Other immune-enhancing strategies include:
-Five to nine fruits and vegetable servings a day! Focus specifically on those high in Vitamin C and E, such as seeds and nuts.
-Don’t forget your multivitamin! It never hurts to use this as a nutrition safety net, but remember, increasing your dosage will not give you “super-immunity.”
-Schedule a flu shot! The CDC recommends a yearly flu vaccine as the first and most important step in protecting against viruses.
-Get enough sleep! On average about eight hours a night for optimal rest.
-Do your best to reduce stress! Try exercising, meditation, or just getting in some “me time.”
-Stay active! Just another benefit of getting in the recommended 60 minutes a day.
Most importantly… be aware of the symptoms! Fever, cough, sore throat, runny/stuffy nose, body/head aches, chills and fatigue are all flu-like signs. Don’t let the bug beat you, start fighting with immunity today!