Summer is officially over, and now that the season has changed it’s beginning to look like fall in many places around the country. With this change, you should be focused on protecting yourself against cold and flu symptoms. When people start coughing and sneezing around you, what should you do? If possible, get as far away from them as you can. If you’re wondering how to prevent germs from entering your heavenly, Omni-approved body, I’ve got you covered!
These are my top 5 tips on how to protect yourself from cold and the flu germs this fall:
Drink Green Tea
If boosting your immune system is something you want to do this fall, then green tea should be high on your priority list (and grocery store list). Personally, I drink two cups of green tea per day. Research shows that green tea not only improves the immune system, but it can help protect against chronic diseases such as cancer, liver disease, and heart disease. The key to green tea’s health benefit is that it contains catechins, a type of disease-fighting flavonoid and antioxidant. The catechins in green tea have been linked to treating metabolic syndrome, such as obesity and type II diabetes, while reducing cardiovascular risk factors. Be careful not to drink green tea too late in the afternoon because it does contain caffeine (but has considerably less than coffee).
Although technically a vegetable, I think of garlic as an herb because of its potent flavor. Whatever its description, garlic definitely is an immune system booster. For thousands of years, it has been utilized as an elixir. Eating garlic regularly can help lower the risk of strokes, improve heart health, as well as boost the immune system’s ability to fight off cold and flu symptoms. The cloves have been used for centuries to treat the common cold. Incorporating garlic into your diet is also beneficial to your brain health. Compounds in garlic cause blood vessels to relax and dilate, increasing blood flow to the brain, thus improving brain function. Also, in case you ever encounter Count Dracula, then garlic can ward him off too. This is an herb (or vegetable) you should definitely have in your kitchen this fall.
Eat Foods that Contain Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Eating omega-3 fatty acids is not just beneficial for your immune system, but it’s really important for optimal health. As a big advocate of brain health, I highly recommend a diet high in omega-3s. Your brain needs specific types of essential omega-3 fatty acids, such as DHA and EPA, to function well. These are found in cold water fatty fish (especially in salmon), shrimp, lean beef, brussel sprouts, cauliflower, raw nuts—especially walnuts, and seeds.
Omegas 3s are considered an essential fatty acid. Since the human body is unable to create its own omega-3 fatty acids, it is essential to eat a diet rich in these fatty acids for optimal health. Even if you despise eating fish as much as paying taxes, at least take an Omega-3 supplement.
Everybody and their favorite fitness guru tout the health benefits of exercise for weight loss. However, very few people talk about the benefits of exercise for your immune system. Research shows that exercise helps ward off viruses and deadly bacteria, especially ones that cause cold and flu symptoms. Also, exercise transports antibodies and white blood cells (our defense cells) through the body at a quicker rate, flushes harmful bacteria out of your lungs, and decreases stress (which lowers the risk of getting sick). So be sure to get out and exercise this fall.
Incorporate Sea Buckthorn
Sea buck what??? Let me give you a brief history lesson on sea buckthorn. Known as the Pegasus, the mythological flying horse, sea buckthorn is an herb that grows in Europe and Asia. Used in ancient Greece, Tibet and Mongolia, sea buckthorn has been valued for its medicinal qualities for well over a thousand years. Sea buckthorn leaves and flowers are great for alleviating skin rashes, arthritis, gastrointestinal ulcers and gout. Sea buckthorn berries are used to prevent infections, improve vision and slow down the aging process. Overall, this herb is an immune system booster that is worth having in your pantry.