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July 12, 2012, 1:19 pm Yahoo!7
There's nothing sexy about a cold. Here are the sneaky culprits that causes them and effective ways to beat it!
Did you know your sex plays a role in whether you catch a cold? A recent study revealed that young women fight off colds better than young men. However, the gender advantage, which researchers suspect is related to hormones, disappears after menopause.
Your immunity actually starts to wane in adulthood. As you grow older, your body’s key defence against infection, called naive immune system cells, dwindle and this may increase the risk of viruses. These cells build an immunity against infections. When you come into contact with the same virus in the future, your immune system reacts more strongly and quickly, so you may not get sick at all. Unfortunately, your body produces fewer of these cells every year, making you less equipped to fight new germs. Everyday habits can further chip away at your defences.
Here are the most surprising health saboteurs and ways for you to stay sniffle-free this season.
Try: To tame the work tension, ask a co-worker to go to lunch, or to join you for a short walk whenever you feel frazzled. This will help because, during social interactions, our bodies release hormones, such as oxytocin, that reduce levels of the stress chemicals cortisol and adrenaline.
Try: Fill up on foods rich in vitamin D, such as fatty fish (salmon, mackerel and sardines) and fortified milk and cereals, or take a daily supplement. The easiest way to get your daily dose is to hot-foot outside on a sunny day for a 30-minute sun-soaking session.
Try: Two-and-a-half hours of moderate physical activity every week, such as doing your favourite workout DVD or walking around the neighbourhood, is the gold standard.
Try: Get in the mood by ditching the flannel PJs and regularly slipping into silky, sexy sleepwear. Offering your partner a surprise bedtime massage can also get things, er, moving in the right direction!
Try: Make a point to reply ‘yes’ to as many invitations as you can, and schedule time for weekly catch-ups with your mates.
Try: Cold-proofing your diet is easier than you may think – just eat more salads and add leafy greens to at least two meals every day. Use green vegetables – especially spinach, kale, cabbage, cauliflower, bok choy, brussels sprouts, lettuce and broccoli – in soups and pasta dishes, or top your pizza with them. Greens are packed with compounds that activate white blood cells and these fend off viruses and heighten the germ-fighting ability of natural killer cells.
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