Prevent Colds and flu with this White Vegetable

Right now in Australia it is the time of year for colds and flu, but did you know that you can build up your immune system to prevent them with delicious mushrooms. That’s right white button mushrooms can help prevent colds and flu.

There’s an element in mushrooms that boosts your dendritic cells, which are important in helping your immune system fight diseases. Dendritic cells capture viruses like rhinoviruses and influenza and deliver them to your B Lymphocites which destroy them.

Researchers now believe that polysaccharides which are found in white button mushrooms can kick start this whole process of capture and destroy.

Mushrooms have a heap of other benefits too, they are low in fat, low in calories, high in protein, which is why many vegetarians use them as a substitute for meat and they are full of an antioxidant called ergothioneine, which is good for your arteries.

So put them in your soups, stews and casseroles. Stick them on a skewer for a kebab, with or in place of meat, put them in your omelettes and when it’s warmer toss some mushrooms in your salads.

Other ways of avoiding or beating the colds and flu include topping up on the vitamin C from fresh fruit, especially citrus (oranges, lemons, grapefruit etc.) berries and grapes. Getting plenty of sleep, staying active and regularly washing your hands.

Now did you know that how you dry your hands counts big in whether or not you beat the germs that spread diseases? Paper towels are the best solution, reducing bacteria on your hands by 60%. Next hot air dryers, but you must hold your hands still in the hot air stream for at least 30 seconds. Apparently someone has calculated that men only dry on average for 17 seconds and women come out worse, at only 13 seconds. Quite how, or who worked this out I don’t know, but they must have spent a lot of time hanging around bathrooms.

If you are impatient and rush to dry your hands, you can only make things worse, as bacteria love moist conditions. Believe it or not rubbing your hands together under the dryer is also a no, no, as this can bring the bacteria to the surface. Of course wiping them on your jeans really doesn’t help anyone.