Genius ways to flu-proof your body
Even if you’re among the 43% of Americans who got their flu shot, it still pays to take precautions— last year’s vaccine was only 36% effective. The good news: These strategies kick-start your immune system’s production of strong, feisty, flu- destroying white blood cells— boosting immunity in as little as 48 hours! Enjoy “me time”
Some lucky folks are actually fluresistant—they don’t get sick even when they inhale live viruses, say University of Michigan researchers. What’s their happy secret? Making time every day for little luxuries, like reading, crafting or soaking in the tub. Turns out, as stress levels drop, your production of virus-killing antibodies rises! Australian researchers say taking care of your own needs for 40 minutes daily could plunge flu risk by 42% in two days!
Up your D-3
At least 25 studies prove vitamin D-3 supplements prevent flu more effectively than even vaccines— cutting risk of illness by 50%! “D-3 kick-starts the production of virus-destroying compounds,” explains Michael Holick, M.D., a professor at Boston University School of Medicine. The proven dose: 3,000 IU daily. Note: Check with your doctor before taking supplements.
Munch on carrots
Crunching on 1 cup of carrots daily could triple your body’s ability to kill invading flu viruses, suggests research in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. Study co-author Ian Young, PH.D., explains that beta-carotene in carrots revs your production of key antiviral compounds. Other great sources include sweet potatoes and greens. Tip: Cooking vegetables—and sprinkling with pepper— boosts beta-carotene absorption by 60%.
Don a sleep mask
If your sleep is disrupted by light—from your alarm clock or the morning sun— donning a sleep mask could rev your flu protection by as much as 31%. A Japanese research team found that when women get at least seven hours of uninterrupted sleep nightly, their production of virus-killing immune cells shoots up by 40%— often in one week. —