Sick of being sick? Use these strategies to keep that dreaded cold at bay this flu season. The best part? It won’t cost an arm and a leg.
1. Get some exercise
A study reveals that people who exercise regularly are less likely to get sniffy. Exercise creates more of those virus-fighting white blood cells, so you’re prepared if you get infected, says Lerato Sikhosana, a senior virology registrar at the National Health Laboratory Service.
2. Eat phytochemical foods
“There’s limited evidence, but colourful fruit and vegetables are thought to have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. These include peppers, broccoli and garlic,” says Dr Tamlyn McKeag. Try making a nutrient-rich soup – it’s nutritious comfort food.
Read more: 17 foods that fight spring allergies
3. Eat your chicken
If you’re low on protein, you’re also lowering your immune system. Some immune-boosting chemicals, like cytokines, need extra proteins to ward off viruses, says Sikhosana. Be sure to get your fill of chicken, eggs and chickpeas to stay strong.
4. Get a massage
Studies show that getting a massage improves immunity by enhancing circulation of cells that kill viruses. Massages also lower the stress hormone cortisol, which has been shown to kill immune cells. The perfect excuse for a spa day.
Read more: Gross but true: Science says you need your phlegm when you get sick
5. Get vaccinated
Clicks pharmacist Waheed Abdurahman says vaccines are best when administered early – around March – to build your immunity – but is still effective now. “It’s also important to get your flu vaccination every year to get up-to-date protection against circulating strains,” he says. While some are skeptical about vaccines, the World Health Organization endorses it.
6. Take a supplement
Boost your immunity with natural medicine like elderberry or African potato extract, and make sure your multivitamin has vitamins C and D in them, so you’re less likely to get sick, says Abdurahman.
This article was originally published on www.womenshealthsa.co.za
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