Why Fitness is Mandatory for Your Health?

With the advancement of technology and busy lifestyle, most of the individuals are living a sedentary lifestyle which welcomes a number of diseases, even at a young age. These days fitness is a term heard by most people, but hardly a few of them have taken the steps to work on it or tried to understand the importance of it. Many of us just go through a good & fancy fitness lifestyle tips daily but don’t apply the tips in our lives. Have you ever taken a time-out from your busy schedule and tried to think about the importance of fitness in your life? It is not surprising if there is a denial of it because hardly one is bothered about it. Let’s go through important reasons why fitness should be mandatory for your health and well-being. If these simple but fruitful steps are followed, you will easily attain a healthy lifestyle for you and your family members.

Keeps you focused

When a person is physically fit, then he/she is capable to focus at the workplace or business. It helps them to improve their performance and scale to a great extent. To accomplish your personal or professional goals consistent efforts is a must and requires continuous concentration to achieve it. A healthy person can keep the focus on the aim and try to achieve it in any situation. 

Improves Your Immunity

Being fit and fine has a direct impact on keeping your immunity strong. The immune system of our body is essential to keep the body in a good state and to fight against diseases in the body. If you have read any fitness lifestyle blog you must know that a fitness regime keeps the immunity strong and helps to keep your body away from unwanted such as cold, flu and fever.

Wave Exorbitant Medical Bills

It is said that “An Apple a Day keeps Doctor Away”. It is the same with your immunity system. It will reduce your uncertain and expensive medical bills. As prices of medicines are ramping up this is going beyond our limits. So if fitness is maintained, you might curtail down your high medical bills.

Adequate Sleep

It is said that early to bed, early to rise makes a person healthy, wealthy and wise. It is important to have a fit body so that you have sound sleep and can stick to your sleep schedule. Adequate sleep of 8 hours is mandatory for a human body to rejuvenate for the next day. It keeps you fresh and energetic for the next entire day. 

Better Mental Health 

It is seen that people these days are struggling from depression and it has increased to a great extent. Lack of physical activities and doing the same work constantly impacts mental health and causes issues such as stress, depression, and anxiety. Better mental health can be achieved through a daily workout, yoga, meditation, and a healthy routine.  

Daily Food Habits

We have always been given the preaching from our ancestors to eat a healthy diet always. You must be aware by now what a healthy diet means and it’s a responsibility of parents to set an example for the children to eat healthy food. You can stop your kid by eating junk food only if you stop yourself by doing the same. It is not important to enter into the technical aspect of each food that you eat, but spreading awareness amongst your children is sufficient. By sharing useful information about food and with a little creativity in cooking, you can give your family a healthy meal every day. 

Daily Workout

It is a myth amongst people that being health conscious about meal and fasting will make you healthy. But, the fact is that daily exercise is important to curb the unnecessary fats from your body to give your body a shape which it deserves. A family can even plan a daily exercise which encourages their children to join to understand the importance of it in their daily life. Teaching your children a simple workout rather than strenuous exercise is sufficient to maintain health and well-being. It is quite essential to keep obesity at bay by getting into other outdoor activities to avoid weight problems. 

Makes you Optimistic and Reduces Stress

To enjoy a healthy lifestyle, it is utmost important to have an optimistic attitude in life. Whatever activity you do, make sure the positivity remains until the end, which helps you to reduce stress. In addition, having a positive attitude leads to a healthier immune system. Your subconscious mind responds to the signals and constantly feed your body that it is healthy and happy. Soon you start believing that your mind and body are becoming fit. Also, if you stay positive, it reduces stress and makes you feel better about yourself. 

In a nutshell, proper exercise, eating habits and mental health are the key factors to determine a healthy lifestyle these days. Start taking steps toward a healthy lifestyle today. Make sure to set reasonable goals and start with baby steps towards your healthy lifestyle for a happy living.   

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Why Physical Activity is Mandatory for Health

We know that staying active is one of the best ways to keep our bodies healthy. But did you know it can also improve your overall well-being and quality of life? Here are some reasons Why Physical Activity is Mandatory for Health.

It’s a natural mood lifter.

Regular physical activity can relieve stress, anxiety, depression and anger. You know that “feel good sensation” you get after doing something physical? Think of it as a happy pill with no side effects! Most people notice they feel better over time as physical activity becomes a regular part of their lives.

It keeps you physically fit and able.

Without regular activity, your body slowly loses its strength, stamina and ability to function properly. It’s like the old saying: you don’t stop moving from growing old, you grow old from stopping moving. Exercise increases muscle strength, which in turn increases your ability to do other physical activities. 

It helps keep the doctor away.

Stand up when you eat your apple a day! Too much sitting and other sedentary activities can increase your risk of heart disease and stroke. One study showed that adults who watch more than 4 hours of television a day had an 80% higher risk of death from cardiovascular disease.
 
Being more active can help you:

  • lower your blood pressure 
  • boost your levels of good cholesterol
  • improve blood flow (circulation)
  • keep your weight under control
  • prevent bone loss that can lead to osteoporosis

All of this can add up to fewer medical expenses, interventions and medications later in life!

It can help you live longer.

It’s true, 70 is the new 60… but only if you’re healthy. People who are physically active and at a healthy weight live about seven years longer than those who are not active and are obese. And the important part is that those extra years are generally healthier years! Staying active helps delay or prevent chronic illnesses and diseases associated with aging. So active adults maintain their quality of life and independence longer as they age.

Here are some other benefits you may get with regular physical activity: 

  • Helps you quit smoking and stay tobacco-free.
  • Boosts your energy level so you can get more done.
  • Helps you manage stress and tension.
  • Promotes a positive attitude and outlook.
  • Helps you fall asleep faster and sleep more soundly.
  • Improves your self-image and self-confidence.
  • Helps you spend more time outdoors.

The American Heart Association recommends at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity each week. You can knock that out in just 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week. And every minute of moderate to vigorous activity counts toward your goal.

So, this is easy! Just move more, with more intensity, and sit less. You don’t have to make big life changes to see the benefits. Just start building more activity into your day, one step at a time.

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How can you maintain your healthy lifestyle

If you want to be a well-rounded, healthy individual, read this thoroughly because In this article I discussed about, How can you maintain your healthy lifestyle?

Maintain a regular exercise routine

No, you do not have to force yourself into intense workouts at the gym but you need to keep as active as possible. You can stick to easy floor exercises, swimming, walking, or simply keep yourself moving by doing some household chores. Do what your body allows you to do.

What is important is that you continue exercising. Give at least twenty to thirty minutes a day to exercise at least three to five times a week. Have a routine; see to it that you have enough physical activity each day.

Be conscious in your diet

To maintain a healthy lifestyle, you need to keep eating healthy. Add more fruits and vegetables in your diet and eat less carbohydrates, high sodium and unhealthy fat. Avoid eating junk food and sweets.

Avoid skipping a meal—this will only make your body crave more food the moment you resume eating. Remember to burn more calories than you eat.

Engage in the things you are passionate about

Every now and then, to keep the stress and the demands of life from taking over, take a break to do something you love doing.

Surround yourself with positive energy

In order to have a sound mental and emotional state, you must surround yourself with positive energy. Yes, not all problems can be avoided. But it helps to face such obstacles with an optimist outlook. Surround yourself with encouraging friends and people that will provide you with constructive criticism every once in a while to help you improve.

Make it a habit to always look at the brighter side of life. Even if you find yourself in the worst situation, there is always an upside to it—something good and positive. Dwell on these things instead.

Maintaining a healthy lifestyle is not that difficult, nor does it require a lot of work. Just keep doing what you do and apply the staying healthy tips listed above—surely you will be a well-rounded individual in no time.

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10 Mistakes that slow your metabolism

Metabolism is the ability of our body to burn calories from the consumed food and convert them into energy. If your metabolism is slow, you can’t lose those extra pounds no matter how hard you try. Apart from weight issues, a slower metabolism has a negative impact on health too. It is really important to maintain a good metabolic rate to stay healthy. Though base metabolism differs from person to person and slows down with aging, there are few mistakes which negatively affect metabolism. In this article i discussed about 10 Mistakes that slow your metabolism.

You don’t eat Enough

To lose weight it is important to cut calories, but this shouldn’t be overdone. When calories are cut down drastically in a short period of time, people may feel lighter and thinner initially. But in reality, they are losing good weight and key nutrients but not fat. Eating too few calories forces the body to go into starvation mode and uses muscle mass as fuel which slows down metabolism. This even leads to nutritional deficiencies and can have a negative impact on health.

You don’t Drink Enough Water

Metabolism depends on the amount of water you intake. When the body lacks adequate amounts of water, metabolism slows down and decreases the number of calories burnt. So, make sure to drink 8 glasses of water per day to boost up your metabolism.

You binge on processed Foods

Processed foods are packed with preservatives and chemicals that make food last longer. But these offer nothing good to our body except the toxins which slow down metabolism.  Besides slowing down the metabolism, consuming a lot of processed foods leads to weight gain, insulin resistance, and type-2 diabetes.

Your food is coated with Pesticides

The chemicals present in the pesticides that cover your food has adverse effects on metabolism. Exposure to pesticides has been linked to thyroid problems. This leads to slow down the metabolism, as thyroid is responsible for regulating it.  So try to get as much organic food as possible to make keep the metabolism going.

Your diet lacks Protein

The amount of protein in the diet changes the way the body stores the calories. Protein has a huge impact on body-fat percentage. Muscle mass increases the metabolism while fat slows down it. So, watch the amount of protein in the diet that helps build muscles, which in turn increases the metabolism.

You completely cut out Carbs

One should take a low-carb diet in order to lose weight. But this doesn’t mean that you completely eliminate carbohydrates from the diet. Carbohydrates are that source of energy which builds muscle by using protein from the diet. They are essential to absorb the protein present in the consumed diet and grow muscle. Without carbohydrates, metabolism slows down and protein cannot be absorbed. People who exercise regularly require enough carbs as muscles demand glycogen from carbohydrate stores in the body during exercise. If they don’t consume enough carbohydrates, the glycogen levels drop which decreases the energy levels required for exercise.

You don’t include Dairy Products

Calcium deficiency has been linked to slowed metabolism. Calcium present in the dairy products may reduce the absorption of fat from other foods. Dairy products are a rich source of quality proteins that help to build muscle mass which is essential to boost metabolism and maintain the lean muscle.

You lack Quality Sleep

Deprived sleep leads to many health issues and slows down the metabolism. This can burn fewer calories and increase the appetite which in turn increases the cortisol levels, the hormone that stores fat. One should take at least 8 hours of quality sleep every night for good metabolism. Staying up late at night and using electronics an hour before going to sleep disrupts the sleep patterns and slows down the metabolism.

You lead a Sedentary Lifestyle

Being physically active is really important to boost metabolism. People who are inactive at work and sitting down at the desk all day have a slower metabolism. Though a balanced diet and a daily workout can keep the metabolism functioning, it is important to get some time to take a walk every hour to keep it going. Besides regular cardio workout, a strength training workout helps build muscle mass and can actually boost the metabolism.

You are Vitamin D deficient

Vitamin D is important to maintain metabolic health. People who get the most sunlight early in the day have a lower Body Mass Index (BMI) when compared to those who get it later in the day. Vitamin D helps to preserve the muscle tissue that speeds up the metabolism. Hence one with vitamin D deficiency has a slower metabolism.

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6 Herbs Could Boost Your Immunity

It’s that time of year — time to break out the boots, light up the fireplace, and restock your over-the-counter cold medicine. But maybe this year you’re not so keen on the de rigueur drowsiness that comes with Tylenol Cold or the sugary aftertaste of Emergen-C. If so, consider the power of plants to up your immunity and help you hedge infections. Yep, this is how to build a cold/flu season first aid kit with herbs. Remedies made from herbs and plants are a modality full of powerful allies for your health and immunity, explains Sarah Corbett, Atlanta-based clinical herbalist at Rowan and Sage — and science is starting to agree: “Research is beginning to confirm the efficacy of folk medicines people have been using for hundreds of years,” says Corbett. Here are 6 Herbs Could Boost Your Immunity and you can add to your medicine cabinet (or fridge, as it may be) for a prevention booster, or as a healing aid.

1. Elderberry

Chances are, you’ve already tried elderberry in some form or another, as this deep-purple berry has definitely gone mainstream in the past few years.

Also called sambucus, elderberry is antifungal, antibacterial, and antimicrobial, so it’s good at knocking out any kind of crud you’ve got going on. There’s evidence that elderberry is effective at treating the flu, as well.

It’s most commonly found as a syrup (it will make your kitchen smell divine if you DIY), but tinctures (a plant extract made with alcohol or glycerin), lozenges, and even gummies can work too.

Corbett advises taking this remedy once per day if you’re trying to prevent sickness, and then much more frequently once you’re already sick — every few hours or so.

Elderberry is considered safe, but don’t chug a whole bottle or anything like that — a teaspoon to a tablespoon of syrup at a time will work. Keep syrups in the fridge, as they aren’t shelf-stable. If you have any autoimmune disorders, it’s probably best to stay away (because it stimulates the immune system).

2. Echinacea

Another well known immune booster is echinacea, aka coneflower. It works by stimulating the immune system to produce natural killer cells and other sickness-fighters.

2015 meta-analysis concluded that echinacea may benefit folks with low immune function the most, even reducing the risk for a cold up to 35 percent.

Corbett suggests echinacea is most effective used right when you start to feel that tickle at the back of your throat, rather than when a full blown sickness has already taken hold.

A tincture is the best way to take it, she says, but teas won’t fail you either (especially since you’ll be hydrating your system in the meantime). Look for Echinacea angustifolia or a whole plant extract, because it’s the most chemically bioavailable (easily absorbed and used by the body).

It’s important to note that if you have a ragweed allergy, you may also be sensitive to echinacea — so if you feel any telltale allergy symptoms like itchiness, hives, or increased congestion, stop taking it immediately.

Note: If you have an autoimmune disorder, skip echinacea.

3. Ginger

Yes, ginger will soothe an upset stomach, but it’s also great for boosting your overall immunity during cold and flu season.

This versatile plant (which has been shown to be antimicrobial, antibiotic, and anti-inflammatory) lends its natural fire to many different uses — sip on a ginger tea, head to the juice bar for a fresh ginger shot if you’re feeling icky, or just add more ginger to your cooking.

It’s pretty safe when used in cooking and remedies, but pregnant people shouldn’t ingest more than 2 grams of dried ginger per day.

4. Garlic

Garlic’s powers go well beyond making food taste delicious. It’s thought to stimulate the immune system and boost the efficacy of white blood cells, though studies are inconclusive.

Garlic is really easy to use — eat it every day to keep yourself feeling top notch. Up your garlic intake when you’re actually sick, too. Make a super garlick-y soup (don’t skimp on the bone broth, either), eat a couple of raw garlic cloves, roast a garlic bulb, or pack it into a jar of honey and let it sit for a few weeks to infuse.

Dietary doses of garlic are pretty safe. It would be difficult to take enough to harm you, but if you’re on anti-clotting medications, be cautious. (And brush your teeth if you find yourself going high on the hog with raw garlic, too!)

5. Fire cider

This intense liquid, sometimes also called the Master Tonic, is kitchen medicine at its best: an intense mixture of garlic, ginger, onion, horseradish and hot peppers (plus any number of other immune-boosting ingredients like turmeric, or tasty ones like lemon or rosemary) marinated in apple cider vinegar.

Fire cider gets its efficacy from the communal power of these sinus-clearing, warming, infection-fighting plants — plus an extra boost from the fermented ACV. And yes, this immune brew will burn (in a good way!) going down.

It’s ridiculously easy to make, so whip up a batch and toss it on your salad every night, sprinkle it on rice or quinoa, or take a shot when you feel a cold coming on. If handcrafting isn’t your jam, you should be able to find some from a local herbalist or at a natural food store.

6. Adaptogens

You’ve probably heard this wellness world buzzword in the last few years — adaptogens — but may not be clear on what exactly it means.

Essentially, adaptogens are therapeutic herbs that support the body in combating and adapting to stress. They’re great to use for people who get sick often, says Corbett, or in times of heavy stress, travel, or extra exposure to pathogens (rather than for every day maintenance or prevention).

Ashwagandha, reishi (both of which stimulate your infection fighting lymphocytes, or white blood cells,) and holy basil (stimulates the immune system and also fights viruses) are all good choices for immune support, explains Corbett.

Buy reishi as a powder and mix it into anything you’re eating or drinking — it’s safe to take in small doses (like a scoop of powder or a squirt of tincture). Ditto for ashwagandha — although steer clear of ashwagandha if you’re taking thyroid hormones like Synthroid.

Holy basil can be made into an infusion and sweetened with honey (don’t take it if you’re pregnant, though, says Corbett). Research some other options, try a few, and see which ones work for you.

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How Seed Cycling Supports Women Hormonal Health?

The human body is truly a wonderful apparatus, full of promise and complexity. While both male and female bodies experience regular hormonal fluctuations, females are understood to be unique in their experience of a monthly menses. The menstrual cycle itself is a carefully constructed dance played out monthly in the female bodied with the goal of releasing a single egg or mature oocyte. With intricate hormonal interplay, a single egg is chosen from thousands of possibilities to be released for potential fertilization. In this article I discussed about How Seed Cycling Supports Women Hormonal Health?

Follicular phase

The first half of the cycle, considered the follicular phase, begins with the onset of menses. At the beginning of this phase, the uterine lining is thick with nutrients to support and nourish an embryo. Should no embryo be present to nourish, female hormones estrogen and progesterone levels are decreased. This allows the thickened inner uterine lining to breakdown and to be shed, resulting in menses. At the ovarian level, follicle stimulating hormone levels increase during this phase, stimulating the development of several follicles within the ovary. As follicle stimulating hormone levels decrease, a single follicle continues to develop above the rest.

Luteal phase

The second half of the cycle, or the luteal phase begins 14 days into the cycle with ovulation and the expression of a single mature egg from the chosen follicle. Following the release of an egg, the follicle expresses female hormone progesterone. Progesterone aids in the preparation of the uterus for potential implantation. Estrogen remains high throughout this aspect of the cycle. Should fertilization and implantation not occur, the follicle degenerates, progesterone and estrogen decrease and menses occurs.

This elaborate interplay of hormones is susceptible to disturbances and it is estimated that more than 20% of women experience irregular cycles. Practicing seed cycling throughout the monthly cycle has been shown to support female hormonal health anecdotally for many years. In modern times, the practice is gaining scientific backing and greater understanding as a tool to support fertility and reproductive health.

The practice of seed cycling involves rotating seeds into the diet throughout the follicular and luteal phases of the menstrual cycle, with the intention of supporting the correlating hormones. The seeds involved are high in essential fatty acids (EFAs), which are necessary for regular hormone production. The seeds can also be helpful in binding and excreting excessive hormones.

In the first half of the cycle, or days 1-14, seeds that are supportive of estrogen such as flax seeds or pumpkin seeds are ingested daily. Flax seeds contain lignans which can bind to excess estrogen in the body allowing for more efficient elimination. The second half of the cycle, or days 15-30, includes seeds focused on supporting progesterone such as sunflower seeds or sesame seeds. Seeds can be easily incorporated in raw or ground form into a daily diet in smoothies, yogurt, or protein snack balls. Including seeds in a daily diet is a uniquely simple and economical way to support hormonal health for women of all ages.

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Top 13 Immunity Boosting Foods

 The immune system consists of organs, cells, tissues, and proteins. Together, these carry out bodily processes that fight off pathogens, which are the viruses, bacteria, and foreign bodies that cause infection or disease. When the immune system comes into contact with a pathogen, it triggers an immune response. The immune system releases antibodies, which attach to antigens on the pathogens and kill them. Incorporating specific foods into the diet may strengthen a person’s immune response. Read on to discover Top 13 Immunity Boosting Foods.

Which foods boost the immune system?

A healthful, balanced diet plays a vital role in staying well. The following foods may help to boost the immune system:

1. Blueberries

Blueberries contain a type of flavonoid called anthocyanin, which has antioxidant properties that can help boost a person’s immune system. A 2016 study noted that flavonoids play an essential role in the respiratory tract’s immune defense system.

Researchers found that people who ate foods rich in flavonoids were less likely to get an upper respiratory tract infection, or common cold, than those who did not.

2. Dark chocolate

Dark chocolate contains an antioxidant called theobromine, which may help to boost the immune system by protecting the body’s cells from free radicals.

Free radicals are molecules that the body produces when it breaks down food or comes into contact with pollutants. Free radicals can damage the body’s cells and may contribute to disease.

Despite its potential benefits, dark chocolate is high in calories and saturated fat, so it is important to eat it in moderation.

3. Turmeric

Turmeric is a yellow spice that many people use in cooking. It is also present in some alternative medicines. Consuming turmeric may improve a person’s immune response. This is due to the qualities of curcumin, a compound in turmeric.

According to a 2017 review, curcumin has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects.

4. Oily fish

Salmon, tuna, pilchards, and other oily fish are a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids.

According to a 2014 report, long-term intake of omega-3 fatty acids may reduce the risk of rheumatoid arthritis (RA).

RA is a chronic autoimmune condition that occurs when the immune system mistakenly attacks a healthy part of the body.

5. Broccoli

Broccoli is another source of vitamin C. It also contains potent antioxidants, such as sulforaphane. For these reasons, it is a good choice of vegetable to eat regularly to support immune system health.

6. Sweet potatoes

Sweet potatoes are rich in beta carotene, a type of antioxidant that gives the skin of the potatoes its orange color.

Beta carotene is a source of vitamin A. It helps to make skin healthy and may even provide some protection against skin damage from ultraviolet (UV) rays.

7. Spinach

Spinach may boost the immune system, as it contains many essential nutrients and antioxidants, including:

  • flavonoids
  • carotenoids
  • vitamin C
  • vitamin E

Vitamins C and E can help support the immune system.

Research also indicates that flavonoids may help to prevent the common cold in otherwise healthy people.

8. Ginger

People use ginger in a variety of dishes and desserts, as well as in teas.

According to a review, ginger has anti-inflammatory and antioxidative properties and is likely to offer health benefits. However, more research is necessary to confirm whether or not it can effectively prevent illness.

9. Green tea

Green tea contains only a small amount of caffeine, so people can enjoy it as an alternative to black tea or coffee. Drinking it may also strengthen the immune system.

As with blueberries, green tea contains flavonoids, which may reduce the risk of a cold.

10. Sunflower seeds

Sunflower seeds can make a tasty addition to salads or breakfast bowls. They are a rich source of vitamin E, an antioxidant.

In the same way as other antioxidants, vitamin E improves immune function. It does this by fighting off free radicals, which can damage cells.

11. Almonds

Almonds are another excellent source of vitamin E. They also contain manganese, magnesium, and fiber.

A small handful or a quarter of a cup of almonds is a healthful snack that may benefit the immune system.

12. Oranges or kiwifruit (kiwis)

Oranges and kiwis are an excellent source of vitamin C, which is the vitamin that many people turn to when they feel a cold developing.

While scientists are still not sure exactly how it helps, vitamin C may reduce the duration of common cold symptoms and improve the function of the human immune system.

13. Red bell pepper

For people trying to avoid the sugar in fruit, red bell peppers are an excellent alternative source of vitamin C.

Stir-frying and roasting both preserve the nutrient content of red bell peppers better than steaming or boiling, according to a study on cooking methods.

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8Nutrients that are essential for our immune system

Who doesn’t want a healthy immune system? (Raise your hand. No one?) But did you know the role your diet plays in keeping it in top shape to protect you from toxins and infections? Sadly, too many of us don’t eat enough of the fresh fruits, vegetables and other foods we need to keep ourselves healthy year-round. You can’t just eat an orange or grapefruit and expect one quick burst of vitamin C to prevent a cold. A truly healthy immune system depends on a balanced mix of vitamins and minerals over time, plus normal sleep patterns and a hefty dose of exercise. With some exceptions, it’s best to get your vitamins and minerals from your food rather than in pill form. Here are some 8Nutrients that are essential for our immune system.

Vitamin C

You probably know about vitamin C’s connection to the immune system, but did you know you can get it from much more than just citrus fruits? Leafy green vegetables such as spinach and kale, bell peppers, brussels sprouts, strawberries and papaya are also excellent sources. In fact, vitamin C is in so many foods that most people may not need to take supplements unless a doctor advises it.

Vitamin E

Like vitamin C, vitamin E can be a powerful antioxidant that helps your body fight off infection. Almonds, peanuts, hazelnuts and sunflower seeds are all high in vitamin E. So are spinach and broccoli if you prefer to increase your intake through meals rather than snacks.

This important vitamin — part of nearly 200 biochemical reactions in your body — is critical in how your immune system functions. Foods high in vitamin B6 include bananas, lean chicken breast, cold-water fish such as tuna, baked potatoes and chickpeas. Bring on the hummus!

Vitamin A

For vitamin A, go colorful. Foods that are high in colorful compounds called carotenoids — carrots, sweet potatoes, pumpkin, cantaloupe and squash — are all great options. The body turns these carotenoids into vitamin A, and they have an antioxidant effect to help strengthen the immune system against infection.

Vitamin D

As mentioned above, it’s best to get most of your vitamins from food, but vitamin D may be the exception to that rule. You can increase your intake through foods such as fatty fish (salmon, mackerel, tuna and sardines) and fortified foods such as milk, orange juice and cereals. Many people have a hard time absorbing vitamin D from food, so if you have a vitamin D deficiency, talk to your doctor about supplements.

Folate/folic acid

Folate is the natural form, and folic acid is the synthetic form, often added to foods because of its health benefits. To get more folate, add more beans and peas to your plate on a regular basis, as well as leafy green vegetables. You can also get folic acid in fortified foods (check the label) such as enriched breads, pastas, rice and other 100 percent whole-grain products.

Iron

Iron, which helps your body carry oxygen to cells, comes in different forms. Your body can more easily absorb “heme iron,” which is abundant in lean poultry such as chicken and turkey, plus seafood. But never fear, vegetarians: You can get other forms of iron in beans, broccoli and kale.

Selenium

Selenium seems to have a powerful effect on the immune system, including the potential to slow the body’s over-active responses to certain aggressive forms of cancer. You can find it in garlic, broccoli, sardines, tuna, brazil nuts and barley, among other foods.

Zinc

You can find zinc in oysters, crab, lean meats and poultry, baked beans (skip the kind with added sugar), yogurt and chickpeas. Zinc appears to help slow down the immune response and control inflammation in your body.

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VitaminC: Could help relieve symptoms of Common Cold

An analysis of 29 studies including 11,306 participants concluded that supplementing with 200 mg or more of vitamin C did not reduce the risk of catching a cold. This article explains about VitaminC: Could help relieve symptoms of Common Cold.

However, regular vitamin C supplements had several benefits, including:

  • Reduced cold severity: They reduced the symptoms of a cold, making it less severe.
  • Reduced cold duration: Supplements decreased recovery time by 8% in adults and 14% in children, on average.

A supplemental dose of 1–2 grams was enough to shorten the duration of a cold by 18% in children, on average.

Other studies in adults have found 6–8 grams per day to be effective.

Vitamin C appears to have even stronger effects in people who are under intense physical stress. In marathon runners and skiers, vitamin C alantost halved the duration of the common cold

How Does Vitamin C Reduce the Severity of Colds?

Vitamin C is an antioxidant and necessary to produce collagen in the skin.

Collagen is the most abundant protein in mammals, keeping skin and various tissues tough but flexible.

A vitamin C deficiency results in a condition known as scurvy, which isn’t really a problem today, as most people get enough vitamin C from foods.

However, it’s less known that vitamin C is also highly concentrated in immune cells and quickly depleted during an infection.

In fact, a vitamin C deficiency significantly weakens the immune system and increases the risk of infections.

For this reason, getting enough vitamin C during an infection is a good idea.

Other Nutrients and Foods That May Help

There is no cure for the common cold.

However, some foods and nutrients can help the body recover. In the past, people have used various foods to reduce their symptoms.

Few of these are scientifically proven to work, but some are backed by evidence.

  • Flavonoids: These are antioxidants found in fruits and vegetables. Studies suggest that flavonoid supplements may reduce the risk of infections in the lungs, throat and nose by 33%, on average.
  • Garlic: This common spice contains some antimicrobial compounds that may help fight respiratory infections. Read this detailed article for more information.
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Can Garlic Fights Colds and The Flu?

Garlic has been used for centuries as both a food ingredient and a medicine. In fact, eating garlic can provide a wide variety of health benefits. This includes reduced heart disease risk, improved mental health and enhanced immune function . This article explains Can Garlic Fights Colds and The Flu?

Garlic Can Boost Immune Function

Garlic contains compounds that help the immune system fight germs.

Whole garlic contains a compound called alliin. When garlic is crushed or chewed, this compound turns into allicin (with a c), the main active ingredient in garlic.

Allicin contains sulfur, which gives garlic its distinctive smell and taste (8).

However, allicin is unstable, so it quickly converts to other sulphur-containing compounds thought to give garlic its medicinal properties.

These compounds have been shown to boost the disease-fighting response of some types of white blood cells in the body when they encounter viruses, such as the viruses that cause the common cold or flu.

Can Garlic Help Prevent Colds and The Flu?

Garlic has shown promise as a treatment for preventing colds and the flu.

Studies have shown that garlic reduces the risk of becoming sick in the first place, as well as how long you stay sick. It can also reduce the severity of symptoms.

One study gave 146 healthy volunteers either garlic supplements or a placebo for three months. The garlic group had a 63% lower risk of getting a cold, and their colds were also 70% shorter.

Another study found that colds were on average 61% shorter for subjects who ate 2.56 grams of aged garlic extract per day, compared to a placebo group. Their colds were also less severe (9).

If you often get sick with a cold or flu, eating garlic can help reduce your symptoms or prevent your illness entirely.

However, a review of the evidence found that many of the studies investigating the effects of garlic on the common cold were of poor quality.

It’s also unknown if you need to take garlic constantly, or if it also works as a short-term treatment when you start getting sick.

How to Maximize the Benefits of Garlic

The way garlic is processed or prepared can really change its health benefits.

The enzyme alliinase, which converts alliin into the beneficial allicin, only works under certain conditions. It can also be deactivated by heat.

One study found that as little as 60 seconds of microwaving or 45 minutes in the oven can deactivate alliinase, and another study found similar results (1314).

However, it was noted that crushing garlic and allowing it to stand for 10 minutes before cooking can help prevent the loss of its medicinal properties.

The researchers also stated that the loss of health benefits due to cooking could be compensated for by increasing the amount of garlic used.

Here are a few ways to maximize the health benefits of garlic:

  • Crush or slice all your garlic before you eat it. This increases the allicin content.
  • Before you cook with your crushed garlic, let it stand for 10 minutes.
  • Use a lot of garlic — more than one clove per meal, if you can.

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