It seems that all of the stars have aligned like some kind of cruel joke at the end of this semester, producing an incredibly high risk for an outbreak of the Carlmont plague.
The recent rainy weather has caught many of us Californians off guard with some shivers, and has become our dominant weather pattern just when the stress of finals and college application deadlines begins to lurk its way into our lives.
The combination of these two forces is a recipe for our immune systems to go down the toilet.
My solution to this problem? Food.
In all seriousness, food is a legitimate way too fight off a cold or the flu because it provides an avenue by which one can strengthen his or her immune system. The saying “you are what you eat” applies in this instance; if you eat healthy food, you increase your chances of being healthy.
Nutrition expert Lisa Hark, PhD, Rd, director of the Nutrition Education and Prevention Program at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, said, “Everyone needs at least five servings of fruits and vegetables every day to get adequate vitamins, minerals, fiber and antioxidants — all things we need for a healthy immune system,” in an article on nutrition.about.com.
Large quantities of nutrients such as vitamins C and A strengthen immune systems, making us better equipped to fight viral infections.
According to Hark, one should “rely on real foods, not supplements. Foods are better than dietary supplements for the prevention of colds and flu because you get the whole nutritional package.”
My strategy when aiming for at least five servings of fruits and vegetables is to sneak them onto every plate. Mixing some berries into my yogurt, bringing an orange to school to accompany my sandwich, and munching on a side of salad with my dinner are all simple steps that anyone can take towards a hefty immune system.
Combined with a good pair of fuzzy socks, hand sanitizer, and avoiding physical contact with germ infested class mates, consuming sufficient amounts of immune system boosting vitamins could help Carlmont students survive finals gracefully.
Cold Fighting Fruit Tea
A yummy concoction introduced to me by my fabulous Aunt Dana. It helped me conquer my sniffles the night before I flew home from Prague, Czech Republic.
-peaches (can be found in the frozen section during the winter)
-nectarines (may not be available in most grocery stores at this time of year, but the show must go on without them.)
– lemon slices
-fresh mint leaves
– Some chunks of fresh ginger
– A dash of honey
1. Pour a large amount of boiled water into a pitcher that is suitable for hot tea.
2. Throw in some slices of strawberries, peaches, nectarines, lemons, and any other fruit that seems appealing to you.
3. Add a good handful of mint leaves.
4. Add a few slices of ginger. I usually use pieces the size of 3 stacked nickels.
5. Add a dash of honey, just for good measure.
6. The mixture takes some time to seep into the water.
7. You get bonus health points if you eat the fruit while drinking the tea.