Saturday, January 26, 2013

Tips to Fight the Flu & Boost Immunity

Good Morning Friends:
On this morning's show we spoke about some ways to keep yourself and your family healthy or at least bounce back a bit faster this cold and flu season with foods you probably already have in your kitchen.  I've got some recipes I'll be posting later, so be sure to check back for those.

Beat the Flu with Breakfast:
Want to stay healthy all flu season?  Some great flu fighting super foods are perfect for this morning's breakfast.  Here are 3 ideas I found on 
  • Cinnamon: Topping your your breakfast with cinnamon may be help prevent viruses. A study published in the Journal of Medicinal Chemistry suggests that specific plant terpenoids contained within cinnamon have potent antiviral properties. 
  • Citrus Fruits: "While it is a common myth that large doses of vitamin C can prevent a cold, it is true that if you up your consumption of this antioxidant at the first signs of a cold, it can help you feel better faster."
  • Low-fat Yogurt: "Recent research shows that people who had the lowest levels of vitamin D were far more likely to get the flu than those with the highest levels, and yogurt is a powerhouse source of it."
Other Super Flu Fighting Foods:
  • Black Pepper: "Black pepper contains a compound called piperine, which not only gives pepper its spicy kick but is also believed to have anti-inflammatory and anti-fever properties."
  • Avocado: Most of us know that Avocado has a healthy dose of heart-healthy fats, but these monounsaturated fats help to reduce inflammation and help us to absorb vitamins like A, D, E and K, which are important for supporting the immune system. 

Home Remedies that Work, and Why:
There are some home remedies are synonymous with cold and flu season - warm soup, hot tea.  Here are the reasons why they really help you recover a bit faster.  These tips came from Prevention Magazine
Sip Some Chicken Soup:  
There's a really good reason why chicken soup has been a go-to cold remedy for centuries.  When chicken is cooking it releases Cysteine, an amino acid which is chemically similar to a common bronchitis drug.  The soup also thins mucus and helps relieve stuffy noses and coughing.  Not quite up to making a homemade batch of soup?  A study found in Chest found that even most of the supermarket brands helped to block inflammatory cells which helped reduce cold symptoms.

Get plenty of rest and drink lots of fluids.  Heard that before?  Rest and hydration are so important to your recovery, because drinking water when you have a cold helps thin mucus secretions in the lungs.

Sip Hot Tea... with honey:
Speaking of hydration, in addition to water the adage of drinking hot tea when you have a cold is also true.  All teas contain a natural bronchodilator called theophylline so any variety you like will work well.  Adding honey will also help because it coats the throat soothing any irritation plus honey is rich in infection-fighting antioxidants and it increases saliva production which will also help thin out mucus.

Zinc & Ginseng:
You may have heard that taking Zinc at the onset of a cold will help shorten your symptoms.  The reason this is true is because the mineral zinc is what your body uses to produce germ-fighting white blood cells.  However, if you over do it zinc can actually suppress your immune system and have a reverse affect so be careful not to take more that 50 mg a day.  Ginseng is also great because it boosts your levels of white blood cells and also your levels of interleukins which are immune system proteins.

Stay Positive: 
Another interesting little fact I shared this morning from is that there was a study which showed that the participants who had heightened activity in the region of the brain associated with positive attitudes produced greater amounts of flu antibodies.  Researchers aren't sure what the connection between our brains and immune systems are exactly, but it appears that we are now seeing proof that having a positive attitude affects our health as well as our general outlook.

There's More on Pinterest:  Don't forget to follow 88.5 WJIE on Pinterest.  On my board, you will find links to another great articles we've talked about, recipes, and more. Today I pinned another great article from Prevention about 9 Power Foods that Boost Immunity.  The foods are: yogurt, oats & barley, garlic, fish, chicken soup, tea, beef, sweet potatoes, and mushrooms.  To find out why they are so great, visit us on Pinterest.  Also, don't forget you can also follow my personal Pinterest board by clicking the link to your right.

Get Well Recipes: 
Here are a couple of cozy get well recipe using some of the ingredients we talked about earlier.

Warm Cinnamon Orange Cider
Momma's Chicken Thyme Soup

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