By Danielle Braff
It’s been a long winter. And you’re still getting cold after cold. It’s time to give your immune system a boost.
Some foods that have been scientifically proven to boost your immunity:
Yogurt – In an 80-day Swedish study of factory workers, those who drank a daily supplement of Lactobacillus reuteri took 33 percent fewer sick days than those who took a placebo. The supplement is a probiotic that stimulates white blood cells — and yogurts containing the “Live and Active Cultures” seal will contain beneficial bugs.
Oats and barley – They contain beta-glucan, which is a fiber with antimicrobial and antioxidant capabilities more potent than Echinacea, according to a Norwegian study. The study found that when animals eat beta-glucan, they’re less likely to get the flu, herpes and anthrax, and it may even help antibiotics work better.
Tea – You may reach for tea when you’re sick — but you should also reach for it before you get sick. A Harvard study found that those who drink five cups of black tea daily for two weeks have 10 times more virus-fighting interferon than those who drank a placebo. It’s the L-theanine amino acid that’s doing all the work — and it’s present in the decaf version of black tea as well.
Garlic – It contains allicin, which can fight against infection and bacteria. When researchers in Britain gave people garlic extract for three months, they were 66 percent less likely to catch a cold than were those who took the placebo. Garlic also works against other diseases: Those who eat more than six cloves weekly have a 30 percent lower rate of colorectal cancer and they’ll cut their chances of stomach cancer by 50 percent, according to the National Cancer Institute of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
Check out these valuable coupons on medicines to help you get through this year’s cold and flu season.