Monday, October 18, 2010

Eat and Rest and Relax to Beat Colds and Flus

Quick: check your Facebook feed and see how many people are complaining about being sick right now. I can count at least five just off the top. Yeah, there's definitely something going around right now, and if you haven't caught it just yet, you really need to read on. Even if you're one of the unlucky ones to be battling a bug right now, we'll help you recover ASAP.

Have you noticed that some people always get sick and catch whatever latest bug is going around, while others are able to stay strong and healthy like it's no big deal? What's their secret? Well, they can start by thanking their good genes, but there are definitely some factors that are within our ability to control which can keep our defenses strong and protect us from those nasty colds and flus that are floating around. Two major factors are diet and stress levels.

Years of research have determined that diets rich in antioxidants have a protective effect on our health. It has been noted that caroteniods including beta carotene are some of the most important antioxidants to include in our diets when it comes to preventing colds and flus. Antioxidants prevent compounds called free radicals from damaging or destroying our cells, which weaken our defenses and lead to illness. Foods rich in antioxidants tend to be brightly coloured including orange, red, green and purple. Some foods you can load up on which are high in antioxidants include apricots, cantaloupes, mangoes, nectarines, peaches, grapefruit, tangerines and watermelons as well as asparagus, beets, broccoli, carrots, bell peppers, kale, collard greens, squash, spinach, sweet potatoes and tomatoes! Phew! Lots to choose from there.

In addition, it's super important to de-stress, keep warm and relax in order to let your immune system do it's job without being over worked. Remember to wash your hands often, drink lots of warm liquids (with honey, ginger and lemon), take hot baths or steamy showers, take naps if possible and go to bed an hour early each night. Give your body all the ammunition it needs to fight that cold off or prevent it from starting in the first place.

Follow as many of these tips as you can and watch that cold or flu disappear (or never appear to begin with)!

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