House Call: Cold and Flu Season — Ways to Boost Your Immune System

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Keeping the immune system strong and healthy plays a vital role in preventing illnesses such as a cold or flu virus.

In order to maintain a healthy immune system, the body has to get the proper amount of sleep.  The recommended amount of sleep each night is between seven to eight hours.

Lack of sleep and/or excessive sleep has been linked to weight gain and other health problems.  Exercise is also key to maintaining a strong immune system.

Even moderate exercise can help boost the immune system. Try to sustain an elevated heart rate for at least twenty minutes, three times a week.

Exercise also helps to manage and decrease stress levels; and decreased stress levels mean increased health benefits.

A proper diet, full of vitamin and mineral-rich foods also plays a vital role in boosting the immune system.

Avoid processed foods—foods with three or more ingredients you cannot pronounce are usually not good options.

Maintain a “colorful” diet, with lots of greens.  Foods known to help boost the immune system include yogurt, almonds, mushrooms, berries, cabbage, garlic, tea, grapefruits and spinach.

Understanding the proper diet, exercise and sleep routines to maintain a strong immune system and good health can be overwhelming.

Cone Health Network is dedicated to providing patient-centered primary care to help individuals and families in the community maintain healthy lifestyles, with several primary-care facility locations backed by the Cone Health Physician Network.  The new LeBauer Healthcare Oak Ridge location is now open with two board-certified family medicine specialists and accepting new patients.

Spokesperson Background:

Dr. Stacey Blyth is a family medicine specialist with Cone Health Network, and serves as one of the exceptional primary care physicians at the new Oak Ridge location of LeBauer Healthcare.

Blyth is a 2001 graduate of State University of New York at Buffalo School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences.  She also completed her residency in family medicine at State University of New York at Buffalo.