Is anyone else getting a sick bug around here? I’ve been noticing so many people coming down with the flu and feeling under the weather lately. However, I have managed to keep myself away from the bug! I truly believe that being healthy and having an active lifestyle has helped my
immune system greatly. I rarely get sick and if I do, it’s only a sore throat for a few days. (knock on wood…I probably just jinxed myself 😉 )
After noticing that I’ve been relatively free of any sort of sickness besides getting chilly (because it’s so cold outside, haha), I decided to research if eating healthy and having an active lifestyle deters many illnesses from entering our systems…and this is what I found..
Have you ever heard of probiotics? They’re the healthy bacteria that live in the intestines and they help with digestion. Studies have shown the probiotics also help the immune response by preventing colds and flu and speeding recovery time. They’re found in yogurt, kefir, and other cultured milk products like sour cream. **You can also receive probiotics in supplement forms!** To further the study of preventing the flu and cold, an article published in Medical Journal Pediatrics shows an experiment of 326 children in China. They all were 3-5 years old and were given milk twice daily with probiotics Lactobacillus acidophilus by itself or combined with bifidobaterium animalis. After six months, the study showed the one probiotic was helpful, but the group with two probiotics did better. The one probiotic had 53% less fevers, and 41% less coughs and 28% less runny noses and when they were sick, and their illness were shorter than 1/3 of the placebo group and they used 68% less antibiotics. They also missed 38% less school than the placebo group. When it came to the children who took both of the probiotics, they had 72% less fevers, 62% less coughs and 59% less runny noses. In addition their duration of sickness was half of that in the placebo group and missed slightly less school than the one probiotic group. This group also used 84% less antibiotics! That definitely shows eating healthy foods like yogurt makes a difference in our health and well being alone!
Additionally I found a study that shows exercise improves the immune system as well! In one study reported in the American Journal of Medicine, women who walked for a half-hour every day for one year had half the number of colds as women who did not exercise. In this study, researchers associated regular walking with increasing levels of infection-fighting white blood cells. The article states that regular exercise appears to be able to jump-start the immune system and that can help reduce the number of colds you get!
So get a little bit of walkin’ & little bit of healthy eatin’ in daily to prevent those awful colds that are going around 🙂