Many people dread dealing with a sick household that can come with the beginning of the school year. Germs may be everywhere but the difference between catching a cold and staying healthy is the strength of your immune system. Immune cells live primarily in the digestive tract, so what you eat directly controls how frequently you become ill. When the gastrointestinal tract is not healthy, you will get sick more often.

    Dr. Colbert's Health Tips and News

          If you want to stay healthy while kids start a new academic year, follow these steps:
      1. Eat Well
          Eliminate sugar from your diet. A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition shows that eating or drinking eight tablespoons of sugar (about the amount in two 12-ounce soft drinks) can reduce the ability of white blood cells to fight off infection by 40 percent. It can also lower immune function for up to five hours and make cells more permeable to bacteria and viruses. Any food high in vitamin C is great for building the immune system. Increase your intake of citrus fruits, broccoli and dark green, leafy vegetables.
          2. Exercise


        Exercise is an important component of any health regimen. Exercise increases the rate at which your body eliminates waste materials and consequently, germs and bacteria. Sweating in itself helps detoxify the body. If you take a brisk walk for half an hour or for 10 minutes a few times each day, you will help your immune system, drop excess weight, and improve your overall health.
        3. Manage Stress
        Stress is one of the biggest challenges to our immune system. Prolonged stress can damage your physical and mental health. Stress of any duration, on the other hand, is long-acknowledged to compromise immunity. There are several ways you can help to alleviate stress and exercise is one of the best. Deep abdominal breathing exercises are also a simple way to help manage stress. The best stress reliever is to pray and cast your cares onto Jesus. Begin to meditate on the Bible; when your heart is filled with Scripture, there is not much room for stress.
        4. Take Supplements
        There are many supplements on the market that claim to increase our body’s ability to fight off germs and viruses. For maximum immunity, antioxidants such as vitamin C, vitamin E, CoQ10 and glutathione (which is often called food for the immune system) are all very helpful. Probiotics are important for keeping the immune system strong. For some, eating yogurt may sometimes be enough but for others, probiotic supplements may be necessary. Elderberry extract has shown to improve symptoms of the flu, helping patients who took it recover up to four days faster than those who did not. Results show that taking elderberry may benefit your immune system and protect you against multiple strains of the flu. The best defense against germs is a healthy diet but adding these supplements may give you the extra boost you need during the start of cold and flu season.

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