10 Minutes to Uber-Immunity!

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As my 46th birthday approaches, in many ways I feel healthier than I did when I was 22. No, I can’t stay out till 4am and go to work the next day. Nor can I eat whatever I want and weigh 10 pounds less than I do now.

Yet despite being healthier in many ways, I’ve been getting some bug or another every year for the last few years — and it knocks me out for days. This after not being sick for almost 20 years! What’s the deal?

So I thought today’s 10-minute goal would be about immunity. What can I do quickly every day that would boost my immunity and make me feel less draggy? I was hoping that there’d be some simple supplement I could take. That would leave me with 9 minutes to spare.

But it doesn’t sound like supplements are effective except in the elderly and the malnourished. According to The Wellness Letter (from The Wellness Foundations at UC Berkeley), “perhaps the most direct action you can take is to consume a varied, balanced diet of vegetables, fruits, whole and fortified grains, and dairy products, with small amounts of fish and meat if you wish.”

There’s so much we can easily integrate into our day to boost our immunity, for less than 10 minutes a day…

* Drink more lemons (in hot water, tea, salad dressing)

* Eat high protein foods (meat, fish, beans, dairy, nuts)

* Drink plenty of water (blah, blah, blah)

* Stop drinking coffee (ouch)

* Eat raw fruits and vegetables

* Stop eating refined white sugar (this is the #1 way to boost your immune system!)

Sounds like there’s a consensus on that sugar one — according to Columbia University’s Health Q&A Internet Service, “eating less sugar — 100 grams of sugar, the amount in one 12-ounce can of regular soda, can reduce the ability of white blood cells to kill germs by 40 percent for up to 5 hours!”

I wondered if “refined white sugar” just meant eliminating the white sugar I bake with and put in my coffee (which now I find out I’m supposed to eliminate anyway). Not so lucky. Refined white sugar is “sucrose” and is in white sugar, turbinado sugar, brown sugar, maple sugar, molasses and pretty much all manufactured food products that contain sugar. According to familyeducation.com, two-thirds of our refined sugar intake comes from manufactured food products.

So this seems like a fairly easy one to be conscious of for 10 minutes a day — peanut butter sandwich on whole grain bread, an apple and water bottle in the car, bag of nuts, yogurt, carrots with chickpeas. This is one I think I could do.

Anyone have any easy immunity boosters? Tips for feeling better? I promise to try them as soon as I beat this bug and have an appetite and energy to exercise!

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