No one likes to be struck down by sore throats, headaches, coughs, and the like, so you should prep your body to fight off any infections that circulate via your work’s air-conditioning system or around you. Luckily for all of us, it’s really easy to boost our immune systems, and it won’t make any difference to your daily habits.
Here are five quick tips to keep yourself in tip-top condition!
1. Increase your garlic consumption
Sure, you’ll have to take an extra swig of mouthwash, but it’s worth it if you manage to bypass the sniffles all your workmates are contending with. According to WebMD, garlic is jam-packed with sulfuric compounds, which are excellent at fighting off infections and viruses.
As is the case with most nutritional foods, it’s best eaten raw (cooking can diminish nutritional properties) but you’ll still reap the benefits if you cook it. Slice it very finely and add it raw to a salad, or up the dosage in your stir-frys, pasta dishes and marinades.
2. Get into olive leaf extract
Olive leaf extract is seriously impressive. Consuming it regularly during winter would last you through the season without a cold. Still, you need to speak to your naturopath before you take it, but it’s worth putting in the effort to get your hands on it.
You can take olive leaf extract in liquid form or as a capsule; either way, it’s packed with antioxidants and polyphenols, both of which work to power down viruses and the like, and it’s got antibacterial properties to keep the insides clean.
3. Dose up on Vitamin D
The more research that goes into it, the more vitamin D is coming up trumps. From MS to cancer to depression, it’s slowly proving to be crucial vitamin that we all need in our system. According to researcher Adit Ginde for Fitness Magazine, a lack of vitamin D directly relates to an increase in colds and the flu. “Without adequate levels of vitamin D, immune cells produce fewer antibacterial proteins and are less efficient at killing viruses and bacteria,” he says.
The best thing about vitamin D is that it’s free! Vitamin D comes from sunlight, so getting outside on a sunny winter’s day is going to go a long way in boosting your immunity. It’s hard to recommend an exact length of time necessary to adequate intake, but the Cancer Council has a great guide to refer to.
4. Power up your juices and smoothies
Spirulina and echinacea are two funny words we don’t see much of, but they’re worthy of a turn in the spotlight.
Spirulina is a blue-green algae that is considered a superfood for its high levels of iron and selenium, and while its disease-fighting properties aren’t set in stone (more research is needed), it’s long been thought of as an immunity-boosting, cancer-fighting supplement.
Echinacea is a plant, but it’s also a highly-regarded herbal remedy for the common cold. It’s efficiency is still up for debate among scientists, but various studies have shown that consumption of the plant stimulates immune cells in the body.
Both of them come in powder form – all you need to do is to add a teaspoon of one or the other two of your smoothies and juices.
5. Add more ginger to everything
Ginger is a powerful anti-inflammatory and it helps in keeping your immune system in tip-top shape. The antioxidant properties in ginger also take on free radicals, which gives your body more than a fighting chance when it’s faced with bacteria and viruses.
Add it to your stir-frys, salads, and marinades, or drink it with lemon and hot water.
This article originally appeared on Popsugar.