Now that cold and flu season is in full swing, it's time to boost your immunity. It’s smart to keep your immune system strong, so that you can ward off what the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says is a flu that is even worse than last year’s--and that one was historically bad.
The CDC estimates that so far, this season, there have been at least 13 million flu illnesses, 120,000 hospitalizations and 6,600 deaths from the flu. Here are some tips for boosting your immunity and keeping yourself fortified this winter.
Whether you jog, dance, hike or swim, keep moving. Find an activity indoors that you love, and will keep up. Research shows that exercise provides a boost to the cells in your body that attack bacteria.
Make sure to munch on greens (kale, spinach), reds (beets, berries, red peppers), and oranges (carrots, citrus), rich in antioxidants and vitamin C.
Managing your stress through meditation, yoga and quiet time spent doing things that you enjoy, can make your system less vulnerable.
Elderberry has been used to treat infections by native people for centuries, and it is now hugely trendy. During the height of cold and flu season, it can be a good idea to take elderberry syrup, supplements or gummies prophylactically, as elderberry contains antioxidants that help boost immunity.
Oil of Oregano
An old Italian remedy, oil of oregano was used by the Ancient Greeks and Roman for medicinal purposes. The oil contains phenols, terpenes and terpenoids, which have powerful antioxidant properties, and also give it a fragrant smell. It is a natural antibiotic that can help fight bacteria.
Oregano also has 42 times the antioxidant level of apples and four times that of blueberries, gram per gram, and the oil is extremely concentrated, so you don’t need very much. Also recommended to take prophylactically.
Found in supplements or tea, or in powder form to stir into your choice of liquid, the reishi mushroom helps boost the immune system, improve sleep and lessen fatigue. It grows in hot, humid climates, largely in Asia. Studies have shown that reishi may alter inflammation pathways in white blood cells, which are critical parts of your immune system.