The cold and flu season is already upon us. It seems as if we hardly have time to bid farewell to summer before we say hello to sneezing, coughing and runny noses. As always, one of the best defenses against getting sick is to wash your hands often. Be sure to scrub as long as it takes to sing the “Happy Birthday” song to be sure you’re doing a thorough job.
In addition to washing off germs at the sink, there are some things you can do to help your body fight off illness. Make these immune boosters part of your lifestyle for a healthier winter.
Eat foods rich in antioxidants. It’s a given that eating a diet consisting of many different fruits and vegetables is good for you. But did you know those foods contain antioxidants that can help strengthen your immune system? Antioxidants team up to fight free radicals, which are chemicals that can damage cells and the genetic material inside them. The body makes free radicals as it processes food and toxins, and antioxidants either stop free radicals before they form or break them down so they’re harmless.
The best rule of thumb when looking for foods high in antioxidants is to choose foods that are bright and colorful. Top on the list of super foods are: red grapes, blueberries, strawberries, carrots, sweet potatoes and dark green vegetables like kale and broccoli.
Exercise regularly. Exercise improves your body’s overall health and fitness, and can help reduce stress. Countless studies even show that regular exercise can cut down on the number of colds a person gets. So get out there and take a walk after work, go for a run, ride your bike, or play in the backyard with your kids. Getting outside in the fresh air or spending some time in the gym will do you good.
Make an appointment for a chiropractic adjustment. In research published by the Chiropractic Journal of Australia, patients who received a chiropractic adjustment showed a higher immune response than before treatment. The central nervous system functions at its best when the spine is correctly aligned, and helps the body’s immune responses. If you’re already suffering from a cold, that same research found that people report speedier recoveries after an adjustment!
Stay well this fall and winter by incorporating these healthy habits into your regular routine.