Winter is coming. No seriously, it's practically here and that means flu season is upon us. So in the spirit of not wanting to get sick, here are 5 tricks to help you stay healthy this year.
This isn't the most conventional method in the world, but hey, it works, and it's yogurt. According to a clinical nutrition study, Greek yogurt can actually help reduce the risk of catching the cold and flu viruses by a whopping 27%. Turns out that certain types of probiotics found in the dairy product can go a long way in keeping you healthy. One serving a day of Greek yogurt is what you should be aiming for.
Stay Away From Booze
This is a bit of a no-brainer, but here it is anyways. Don't get hammered. Yup, it turns out that binge drinking can actually increase your chances of getting sick. Like, actually sick, not "I drank too much" sick. Actually, maybe both. Researchers at the University of Massachusetts Medical School found that drinking more than five drinks in two hours can actually trigger a flood of cytokines. These proteins can cause flu-like symptoms such as fever and soreness. So yeah, lay off the sauce.
According to researchers in Taiwan, ingesting fresh ginger can help reduce the chances of contracting respitory illnesses such as bronchiolitis, and even pneumonia. Good on you, ginger. Fresh ginger is key, so make sure to incorporate the root into your cooking for a bit of flavor — and whole lot of sickness defense.
This nifty little cooking technique will definitely come in handy in the fight against the flu. Many viruses can actually end up sitting on fresh produce, and eating those veggies could actually make you ill. In comes blanching. Simply toss your fresh veggies into boiling water for two minutes, then throw them into an ice bath to stop the cooking process. This will kill all the bacteria on the surface, and leave you with some awesome, disease-free veggies. Yummy.
This is actually pretty cool — on your breath, that is. Yup, chewing gum can actually help reduce your chances of getting sick this season. How? Researchers have found that a sweetener known as xylitol which can be found in certain brands of gum, can actually help prevent streptococcus. Not only that, the sweetener also reduces the risk of sinus and ear infections. Triple whammy, xylitol.