Immune Boost

Cold and flu season usually exits as winter comes to a close. But that doesn’t mean you’re in the clear. During spring cleaning, germ stragglers can emerge and attack. Boost your immunity so you can spring into spring without sniffles.

Sleep: If you don’t get enough rest, your body can’t muster the strength to fight off invasions. While it varies by individual, experts recommend at least 7–9 solid hours. If you nod off in the afternoon or struggle to rise, you could probably use a few more winks.

Exercise: Physical activity not only releases hormones like endorphins, which rev your natural defenses, it also uses energy and releases stress — an illness magnet — to quiet you, so you can get the zzz you need.

Diet: Studies show that a diet deficient in essential fatty acids (in fish and nuts) weakens immune function and can cause depression — a precursor to physical sickness; so fatten up those cells with omega-3s. Get enough zinc (in meats, almonds, and beans), vitamin C (in broccoli, red bell peppers, and citrus fruits), and vitamin D (from sunshine) — all powerful agents for maintaining health. Load up on yogurt or kefir to introduce good bacteria that ward off disease. And eat fresh garlic, which boasts antimicrobial properties.

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