Saturday, October 30, 2010

Avoiding the Flu

It’s that time of year again, when the sniffles appear and it seems almost everyone around you is getting sick. But you know that this year, you just cannot afford to get sick! Here are some simple tips that will help you up your body’s defences by up to 76 % or more!

Enjoy some time with friends.

While it may seem practical to stay at home when the flu or other bugs run rampant throughout the town, hiding yourself away shouldn’t be the final solution! People who regularly go out and spend time with their friends are four-times less likely to get sick in comparison to those who will actively avoid social contact – even if one friend has the sniffles! Studies conducted at the Center for the Advancement of Health, based in Washington D.C. further confirm this. As Dean Ornish, M.D., and clinical professor of medicine at the University of California at San Francisco says, “ strong, nurturing friendships improve immunity by squelching the body’s output of cortisol , stress hormone that interferes with the immune system’s production of white blood cells and antibodies.”  If you can’t slip some friends time into your busy schedule, don’t worry! A ten minute chat via the Web or over the phone can also deliver the same benefits.

Cook with Coconut Oil

Scientists at Chicago’s Rush University Medical Centre have noted that many vegetable shortening that we would use are packed with synthetic trans fat. These types of fats weaken our body’s immunity by reducing the efficiency of virus-fighting B cells. Solid Coconut Oil however, is free of trans fat and rich in medium-chain fatty acids. These fatty acids destroy germs by puncturing their protective membranes! Aim to get 3 Tbs. of coconut oil daily by subbing it for an equal amount of shortening in stir-fries, baked goods and other dishes.

Take a Daily Multivitamin

Many of us are lacking at least one immune-boosting nutrient despite eating a well-balanced diet, report researchers at Boston University Medical Center. There are a number of factor's to blame, such as modern food-processing methods, digestive aliments and chronic stress, all of which can reduce nutrient availability and hinder their absorption by the body. Studies carried out at Connecticut’s University of Bridgeport have indicated that by taking a daily multivitamin, your body's immunity can increase by up to 76 percent – and help the average person avoid 17 sick days annually.

Slip into Cozy Socks

Results from a study carried out at Cardiff University in the United Kingdom, showed that volunteers whose feet were chilled for just 20 minutes were three more times likely to develop symptoms of a cold in the week following the experiment than subjects who kept their toes toasty. “We found that when a person’s feet are cold, blood vessels constrict in the sinuses. This reduces circulation of immune cells to the nasal epithelium, where they’re needed to fight off invading viruses,” Ronald Eccles, Ph.D., author of the study explains. If you’re in a place where thick socks are not an option, such as at work, you can go with lined boots or warm tights.

Slather on Mustard

Enjoy a generous dollop of this condiment on your sandwich every day and you’ll strengthen your viral immunity in as little as one a week, suggests research at UCLA. The magic ingredient: turmeric, the yellow spice found in almost all mustard varieties. Thanks to its antioxidant trio of eugenol, curcumin and vanilla acid, turmeric helps boost the body’s ranks of antiviral white blood by speeding the rate at which they divide.

These few tips will help to ensure that you give your body the most amount of help to avoid the flu at this time of the year!

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