With the onset of snow, cold temperatures, winter is one tough old guy. In that spirit, here are 5 ways to beat the flu:
1) Turn down the heat: Reprogram your thermostat, spend some cash on a new blanket for when you need to warm up. Or you can try a cold-water bath twice a week.
2) SAY YES TO CARBS!!!! I don’t mean pigging out on Chunky Monkey, chili dogs and downing a couple of pints of your favorite adult libation. I do mean trying foods that stick with you, such as oatmeal or split-pea soup. These foods are good for your immune system. These fiber-rich foods have something called “microbiota-accessible carbohydrates”. These are vital. An August 2014 report in Cell Metabolism reveals, are laregly missing from Western diets, triggering immune dysregulation and disease.
TIP: Aim for the daily recommendation of 21 to 38 grams of fiber (depending on age, gender and genetics). One cup of lentils has a whopping 16 grams, while cooked black beans (frijoles) come in a close second, with 15 g per cup.
3) Eat and exercise LIGHTLY. See your neighbor sprinting his way through a 10K, while another binges on Haagen Daas while watching Seinfeld reruns? They are both compromising their immune systems. Going for a brisk walk or an easy jog will reduce the incidence of infection. The Journal of Applied Physiology states that “workouts that last more than 90 minutes and requiring more than 75% of your maximum effort will compromise your immune system/immunity”, researchers found.
4) Add RED to your diet. Lycopene, found in tomatoes, are essential for optimal health. Try consuming 10,000 mcg per day, as recommended by Dr. Edward Giovannucci, professor of nutrition and epidemiology at the Harvard School of Public Health. In short terms, that 10,000 mcg is less than a half-cup of tomato puree or a slice of watermelon, or a grapefruit plus a half-cup of marinara sauce.
5) HAVE A LAUGH. The Bible says in Proverbs, “A merry heart doeth good like a medicine”. Humor does heal. As the American Cancer Society explains, laughter increases your breathing rate and oxygen use while sparking short-term changes in hormone levels and also in neurotransmitters. The result of this is a stimulated immune system to battle sickness.