With everything already going on this year, and now with cold weather season in full flow, your immune system is working overtime. Several studies have shown that intense training programs can put stress on the body’s immune system, so regular gymgoers are more likely to catch something than the average person. Also, intense exercise can even put people at an increased risk of upper-respiratory tract infections, according to one study out of Scientific Reports.
“Intensive exercise produces a decrease in the immune system functionality which makes the body more vulnerable to infectious agents,” the researchers noted. “This period is known as an ‘open window’ to pathogens.” These results go against the popular belief that people who work out more are more likely to shake off a cold, or even the coronavirus, which of course just isn’t true.
Whilst your immune system won’t completely safeguard you from germs and viruses, increasing your intake of vitamins and minerals has been found to help decrease the amount of time you feel under the weather. A lot of these will already been common knowledge when it comes to preventing and treating cold and flu, but try and add as many of these as possible to your diet.
Is your nose running? Oranges, tangerines, lemons, and grapefruit will help stop it. They’re packed with immune-boosting vitamin C. The citrus fruit family is a staple during cold and flu season. Studies have shown that larger doses of vitamin C can shorten the duration and severity of your cold symptoms. Citrus fruits also contain a muscular benefit; they’re high in potassium, which is needed for fluid regulation and muscle contractions.
2. BONE BROTH
This food item has been steadily increasing in popularity in recent years due to its effectiveness, and it’s still proving that it’s useful. Bone broth is created by simmering the bones for several hours with the goal of extracting minerals while the marrow is cooked down. The minerals that get released will help you bounce back quickly; those minerals are magnesium, calcium, potassium, and phosphorus. While bone broth is boosting your immunity, it can also reduce joint and muscle pain since it’s packed with glucosamine.
Considering drinking ginger tea or adding some ginger to a smoothie during your next cold? In a review published by the International Journal of Preventative Medicine, ginger contains gingerol and shagelol, which contain antimicrobial properties that can help your body ward off sickness. Additionally, ginger is rich in antioxidants that fight free radicals and help boost your immune system.
They’re a muscle-building staple because of their flavonoid (antioxidant) profile, which reduces free radical damage after a long lifting session. Research from the University of Auckland found that adults reduce their risk of catching the common cold by 33% when consuming foods high in flavonoids, like blueberries.
Spinach is a classic superfood. It’s loaded with fibre and vitamin C. Add this superfood to a meal such as a salad or by sautéing it with olive oil. You can also toss a cup of it into a protein smoothie.
Garlic contains allicin, which is the main active ingredient that gives it that unique flavour and smell. A study published by Advances in Therapy demonstrated that garlic cut the risk of getting a cold by 63%. Garlic is easily added to most cooked lunches and dinners.
Build muscle while preventing a cold by eating salmon. The reason being, salmon is high in zinc, an immune-boosting mineral. Additionally, you can pop some zinc within the first 24 hours of a cold to help reduce the duration of its symptoms.
When you’re sick, it’s easy to become dehydrated, a reason why doctors tell you to keep your fluids topped up. Water acts as a natural detox, helping rid the body of harmful pathogens. It can also help break up congestion and prevent further infections.
Mushrooms are a suitable choice to boost your immune system. They’re rich in the polysaccharide beta glucan, which activates the immune system to prevent the common cold. Mushrooms also help control white blood cells, keeping them on alert for a possible infection.
Your gut makes up 70% of your immune system so it’s vital to your overall health. To keep it in peak condition, load up on yogurt. It’s a great source of probiotics, which help fight off the harmful bacteria in the gut.