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Experts: Proper diet and exercise can help ward off disease, boost immune system

Posted at 3:58 PM, Oct 11, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-11 17:59:47-04

HELENA — Having a robust immune system is essential to avoid getting sick as cold and flu season approaches while still during a pandemic.

MedlinePlus.Gov suggests going to the gym not only to break a sweat but also says a good workout can also help flush bacteria out of the lungs and airways.

Whitney Taylor with Crossroads Sports and Fitness says, "working out increases her antibodies, which your antibodies are there to help protect against disease."

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Medlineplus.gov also says that antibodies and white blood cells are the immune system cells that fight disease.

Another immune system booster is eating a healthy balanced diet. Jennifer Colegrove, a registered dietitian with St. Peter's Health, suggests few good options to add to the grocery list to stay healthy.

"Partially, foods with a high vitamin C, so things like citrus fruits, oranges, lemons, limes, berries, strawberries, and the green leafy vegetables are excellent sources of vitamin C," Colegrove said.

Another nutrient to look out for is zinc, which comes from our meats, nuts, beans, and other protein-based foods.

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A combination of breaking a sweat and eating nutritious foods could help you stay healthy during cold and flu season.

"It's important just for overall health, which the healthier you are with less chronic disease, the better immune system you are going to have," said Colegrove.

"It's those instant endorphins that you get from working out—those are feel-good chemicals that are released into your body, so you have those, and like I said if you don't believe me. You should just try it," said Taylor.