Staying fit and active is great for your body but it also leaves your immune system open to attack by germs, bugs and viruses so it’s important to do whatever you can to stay healthy and keep your immune system strong. You may have all of your bases covered with the traditional tips, but these lesser know tips are also great to add to what you’re already doing to ensure your good health.
1. Consume carbs pre-workout
This might seem like a no-brainer but apart from the well-known benefits of consuming carbs post-workout, such as immediately helping the body and muscles to recover and grow stronger, a lesser known benefit is that it was also shown to support immune system function, according to research published in the Journal of Applied Physiology. The study's authors believe that as carbs help stabilize blood sugar levels, it helps reduce the body's stress response.
Quality carbohydrates include sweet potatoes, quinoa, fruits, oats, dark, leafy green veggies.
2. Eat more mushrooms
We’re not talking the magic kind. Mushrooms, Shiitake in particular, are immune-system boosters that are packed with vitamin B and contain a similar amino acid profile to meat.
Simply add a four-ounce serving of dried shiitake shrooms to a meal for a month and it has shown to ward off disease-causing antibodies, according to research out of the University of Florida.
3. Get some Quercetin
This antioxidant is found in berries, onions, and green tea. It can help reduce illness during heavy training while also stimulating the creation of new mitochondria; your cellular powerhouses. Research shows that 1,000mg per day of quercetin (divided throughout the day) is the ideal dosage for reducing the detrimental effects-heavy intense training has on immune function.
4. Eat foods that hydrate
Staying hydrated allows your body to naturally remove toxins and bacteria from the body. Water is an obvious go-to for hydration, but you aren’t limited to liquid. Some foods can also help you get the job done include cucumber, tomatoes, strawberries, broccoli, oranges and apples.
5. Consume more probiotics
Dairy with live cultures, as well as fermented foods like sauerkraut, dill carrots, kimchi, and kombucha contain probiotics that help populate your digestive tract with good bacteria. They can enhance the health of your gut and help your immune system work better, which may lead to fewer colds.
6. Eat elderberries
This centuries-old remedy has been shown to reduce a cold’s duration and symptoms, with some research showing it can cut down flu symptoms by up to three days. Elderberries have also been used to treat constipation, headaches, stress, and fever.