Cooler days, beautiful foliage and pumpkin-spice everything…fall is so much fun! And to ensure you enjoy every minute of it, we’ve rounded up a collection of proven things you can do right now to supercharge your immunity in just six weeks or less. The best part: These health-boosting moves couldn’t be easier and will keep those fall illnesses at bay!
Tuck into breakfast.
Spoon up your favorite cereal, savor a veggie-packed omelet, sip a fruity smoothie — no matter what foods you prefer, enjoying a morning meal daily slashes sick days due to colds and flu by 68 percent compared to folks who skip breakfast. Experts reporting in Nutrition Neuroscience say that the nutrients and calories provided by breakfast arm the immune system to protect against respiratory infections from the day’s very start.
Make a tea trade.
Sip one to two tall glasses of iced green tea daily — or three to four cups of hot tea once the weather cools down — instead of black tea, and you’ll slash your odds of coming down with a viral infection by as much as 61 percent . That’s the word from Japanese investigators, who explain that green tea compounds called catechins bolster activity of gamma delta T cells, immune system cells that fend off colds, flus, and other fall illnesses.
Stretch your legs.
Whether you stroll along a beach boardwalk or through the farmers market, simply getting out and about keeps your immune system strong. Research in the British Journal of Sports Medicine found that walking for 20 to 30 minutes five days a week boosts immune cell activity, lowering the risk of respiratory infections by up to 43 percent.
Relax in the sun.
Go for a picnic in a sunny spot or finish reading this magazine on your patio. The midday sun you get now shields against viruses later. The reason: Your body stores up the vitamin D produced when sunlight strikes skin. And D is so effective at mobilizing virus-fighting white blood cells, Cornell research suggests maintaining healthy levels of the vitamin cuts flu risk in half. Tip: For a boost in protection as shorter days approach, supplement with 2,000 to 4,000 IU of D daily.
A version of this article originally appeared in our print magazine, Woman’s World.