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Thursday, October 13, 2011

Five Ways to Strengthen Your Immune System Before Flu Season (Prevention)

#1.) Eat Protein with Every Meal. One reason it helps is, the antibodies that help fight off diseases are actually MADE of protein. Plus, foods that are high in protein usually have other nutrients that boost your immune system. Beef, pork, beans, soy, and seafood all contain zinc, which helps your body make more white blood Almonds and cashews have protein too, as well as magnesium, which also helps boost your immune system.

#2.) Eat Five Cups of Fruits and Vegetables a Day. The ones that are high in vitamins A, C, and E are the best. Vitamin A . . . which is found in sweet potatoes, carrots, and leafy greens . . . helps fight infections. Vitamin C . . . which is in citrus fruit, bell peppers, and broccoli . . . helps your body absorb iron, which helps fight off diseases. And nuts and seeds contain high levels of vitamin E, which has been shown to help combat the flu and upper respiratory infections.
But don't just take a bunch of supplements. Talk to your doctor first, because high doses of certain minerals can actually HURT your immune system.

#3.) Have Your Vitamin D Level Checked. Your skin absorbs it when you're out in the sun, so a lot of people don't get enough of it . . . especially during the winter. And new research suggests that not getting enough vitamin D can make you more vulnerable to the flu, and the common cold.

#4.) Get 20 to 30 Minutes of Exercise a Day. Physical activity makes antibodies and white blood cells move through your body faster.And researchers think an increase in circulation might also trigger the release of certain hormones that warn your immune system when something's wrong. Just don't overdo it, because intense activity . . . like training for a marathon . . . can DECREASE your white blood cell count.

#5.) Don't Get Drunk. One or two drinks is fine. But more than that can suppress your immune system.And a recent study from Brown University showed that too much alcohol is toxic to your "dendritic" cells . . . which help seek out and destroy bacteria.-According to "Prevention", if those cells aren't working right, it makes you more vulnerable to colds and the flu. And in some cases, it can lead to life-threatening infections

This one lost me at "don't get drunk."

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