The HealthStyle File: Boost Your Immune System With Beef?

What: The kids are back in school and they are bringing home a fresh new batch of germs and viruses. You now have the sniffles and can feel a head cold coming on. This happens every fall, and you’re beginning to wonder if there’s anything you can do to protect your health and boost your immune system.

Why: Winter is on the way, and at your office, everyone comes in sick and the same illness gets passed around.

How: Here are six simple tips to boost your immune system without taking handfuls of vitamins:

  1. Laugh everyday! Laughter has been shown to increase the power and effectiveness of your body’s disease killing cells. The average adult is lucky to laugh a dozen times a day; the average child will laugh 300 times a day!
  2. Eat your mushrooms. Mushrooms, especially Shiitake mushrooms, have been shown to help your body create natural disease fighting cells, which can cause a huge boost to your immune system.
  3. Drink green tea. Green tea is loaded with immune boosting antioxidants. One cup of green tea has more health effects than a serving of broccoli. Green Tea Frappachinos don’t count.
  4. Eat lean beef. Are you surprised that red meat can boost your immunity? Lean beef is a great source of zinc. Zinc increases your production of white blood cells. White blood cells are powerful disease fighters. Diets that are low in zinc can lead to a drop in your white blood cell count and a decrease in your immunity. Pumpkin seeds are another powerful source of zinc. I keep a bowl of pumpkin seeds out on my desk and snack on them throughout the winter months.
  5. Manage your stress. When you feel stressed, your body increases its production of stress hormones. These stress hormones can attack your immune system, making it an easy target for germs. Getting more sleep, staying hydrated and taking some deep breaths can be an antidote to high stress levels.
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