Why Are the Holidays Stressful?
During the holidays we become very busy. Although many of our activities are joyous we also experience great stress from all of the social obligations that we are now a part of. Parties, family gatherings, shopping and over indulging in foods and alcoholic beverages can all strain our immune system. Add that to the regular everyday factors such as lack of sunlight, poor air quality and bad diet and you have a recipe for health problems. When the immune system experiences too much stress it can lead to a breakdown which makes us more susceptible to disease and infection. So during this time of year it is very important to incorporate strategies to keep your immune system strong and healthy.
What Foods Can Help Us Boost Immunity During the Holidays?
Garlic:This incredibly wonderful member of the onion family can pack a big punch to strengthening the immune system. This is due to the sulfur compound found in garlic which is known as allicin. Eating garlic can increase white blood cell count and reduce free radicals in the bloodstream.
Ginger: Ginger contains substances that help fight infections and aid in digestion. Particularly during the holidays when many people maybe overindulging, having a delicious cup of hot ginger tea will treat stomach aches and fight off the flu.
Yogurt: The healthy bacteria in yogurt is known as probiotics. Eating yogurt helps to maintain a healthy balance of good flora in your intestinal tract. This is important because a compromised intestinal tract can allow bacteria and viruses to flourish. Try to stick to the yogurts that are not loaded with extra sweeteners.
Fruits: Fruits are fantastic for strengthening immunity. One of the best is the orange. Remember the old saying, "an orange a day can keep the cold and flu away?" It is true. Oranges have a very high vitamin C content which of course strengthens immunity. Additional good fruit choices are kiwi, strawberries and papaya.
Turmeric: This fragrant spice is widely used in Asian cooking. Tumeric is a powerful cold and flu fighter due to the curcumin compound that it contains. It is also an anti-inflammatory and will boost your immunity.
Green Tea: Numerous studies have shown that the antioxidant polyphenols in green tea help to fortify the immune system. A delicious cup of green tea can keep the flu and cold bug away