Outsmart the cold & flu season!
The mall, the grocery store, the office and even your own home… spending more time inside makes you three times more likely to encounter a nasty virus. But you can’t get sick now! Thankfully, even the hardiest germ can’t slow you down if your immune syste
You don’t have to live in a bubble to stay healthy. In fact, socializing once a week cuts your risk of winter illnesses by 55%, say researchers at Pittsburgh’s Carnegie Mellon University—and you’ll get that great protection even if your friends and family are sniffling. Turns out, the warm feelings we get when we feel connected with others switches on the genes that produce oxytocin, aka the “hug hormone,” which energizes immune cells so they trounce invading viruses fast.
Take a smile break
What makes you happy keeps you healthy, and a half hour daily of watching your favorite sitcom will cut your risk of illness by as much as 33%! University of WisconsinMadison researchers discovered that in addition to increasing your brain’s production of hormones that chase away funky moods, the dose of happiness triggers the release of virus-destroying dynamos called B cells.
Flavor with garlic
Even better than warding off vampires: This flavorful bulb has been fighting off viruses for centuries! According to a study in the
Journal of Immunology Research, adding just one large clove of garlic to your daily diet can cut your risk of colds by 63%—plus help you bounce back in half the time if you are under the weather. Study co-author Dan Ortuno, PH.D., says garlic is rich in sulfur compounds, the raw materials your body needs to make virus-fighting immune cells.
Try a stay-well supplement
A daily multivitamin— one with A, C, E and zinc— can cut your risk of colds and flu by as much as 66%, suggests research in the British Journal of Nutrition. These nutrients strengthen airway tissues, so viruses have more trouble invading, explains study co-author Eva Wintergerst, PH.D. Note: Check with your doctor before taking supplements.