Boost Your Immune System For Fall
As we head into winter cold and flu season, we have two choices: we can either do nothing, roll with the punches and just deal with the colds as they come or we can take a few simple steps to keep our immune systems healthy. It might be easier than you think to reduce both the number and severity of your colds.
If you only think of vitamin C when you think colds and flu, think again. If you think vitamin C when you think colds and flu, think again.Many of us have zinc deficiency, especially women and children. Zinc is easy to get and is essential to fighting off colds. But why? Zinc is involved in the development and function of the body’s white blood cells, which fight off infections. These white blood cells are crucial because they fight the nasty colds and are your first line of defense. It is recommended that adults get 8-12 milligrams of zinc per day. Zinc is readily found in lean red meat, seafood, wholegrain breads, fortified breakfast foods and nuts. It is not hard to get the 8-12 milligrams that you need everyday, just four ounces of lean read meat has about half of the zinc you need, one cooked oyster has almost all of the zinc you need and six ounces of wholegrain wheat has all of the zinc you need on a daily basis.
Vitamin C is Still Important
I don’t want you to think that zinc is the only thing to make sure that you get enough of this cold and flu season, vitamin C is still important. It is recommended that adults get between 70 and 90 milligrams of Vitamin C per day, and some researchers say that up to 500 milligrams per day is safe and effective at helping with overall health. Researchers are learning more and more about vitamin C benefits.
“Vitamin C has received a great deal of attention, and with good reason. Higher blood levels of vitamin C may be the ideal nutrition marker for overall health,” says study researcher Mark Moyad, MD, MPH, of the University of Michigan. Though studies show that consuming vitamin C can’t actually prevent colds, loading up on Vitamin C has been proven shorten the length of time you’re sick and reduce the severity of your symptoms. This is also the case for little bouts of the sniffles. These micro colds that zap your energy can and should be knocked out quickly with vitamin C. Nipping them in the bud before they weaken your immune system is the best thing to do, because if you do nothing a more serious cold could come along and make you very sick.
Oranges are not the highest source of vitamin C, there are several foods with higher amounts. The foods with the highest amount of vitamin C are (highest first to lower amounts): Papaya, Bell Peppers, Broccoli, Brussels Sprouts, Strawberries, Pineapple, Kiwifruit, Cantaloupe, Cauliflower. There are many more, but these will give you the highest amounts.
Don’t Let Your Gym Shoes Hibernate
Lastly, regular exercise is important all times of the year, including fall and winter! Short days and cold weather make it tempting to blow off exercising, but if you do your entire immune system will suffer. Need proof? In a recent study people who exercised regularly (five days a week or more) had 43% fewer days in the fall and winter than those who exercised less regularly or not at all. This is because during your workouts and for hours after them your body increases production of germ-fighting cells which are called neutrophils. These germ-fighters are your body’s heavy hitters when it comes to fighting infections and colds. They are phagocytic, meaning that they can ingest other cells and microbes, eradicating them. Since exercising increases production of neutrophils, it is great to exercise at least five days a week to fight off colds and the flu.
I hope that you found this article helpful!
To your health!