We are deep into flu season. It seems like every other person at work is hacking up a lung or out sick.
Washing your hands, getting your flu shot, even avoiding your sneezing, coughing coworkers can only get you so far. You will inevitably come across some potent viruses and bacteria this winter. Your body’s immune system is amazing at fighting off illnesses. Still, what you choose to feed it could mean the difference between getting a sniffle and a debilitating cold.
Want to make the most of your office vending machine? Here are five immune system boosting power houses to look for to help you and your office stay healthy, and survive this winter’s office cold season.
Yogurt is full of probiotics. Probiotics are healthy bacteria that keep your gut and digestive system well. Not only do they boost immunity, they may even make you feel happier. Probiotics in yogurt act as a natural form of antidepressant. Yogurt was shown to improve anxiety, mood and other depressive symptoms. Yogurt is even more important when dealing with stomach bugs or antibiotics. The probiotics replaces and maintains healthy bacteria in your gut.
Other probiotic rich foods are kefir, miso, kombucha and sauerkraut.
Oats have great antimicrobial and antioxidant abilities. One study found that the beta-glucans in oats and barley acted better than echinacea in reducing infections. Oats also have lots of iron, selenium and zinc, three players in helping your immune cells keep you healthy. They may even help antibiotics work better.
Bell peppers have two to three times the vitamin C as oranges. Vitamin C is an antioxidant to help you prevent and get rid of colds and flu. It also boosts the production of immune cells and antibodies against infections.
Green tea is full of antioxidants and polyphenols and flavanoids. Antioxidants fight free radicals that damage healthy cells. Polyphenols can help stimulate your immune system to kick into action. Flavanoids are antimicrobial, killing off bugs early on.
Strawberries, blueberries, blackberries and rasberries are similar to green tea. They have antioxidants, polyphenols and flavanoids as well. Berries are always a great choice to boost your immune system.
Don’t want to get sick from the office cold this season? What we choose to eat, snack on and drink can help or hurt our immune system. Yogurt, oats, bell peppers, green tea and berries are solid immune system boosters to keep you and your office healthy this season.