I was listening to my favorite radio station again one morning….oh, it’s been awhile…and the radio show hosts were discussing the top 10 reasons why women live longer. I was intrigued, and so I turned up the volume and tried to hush my kiddos. I wasn’t savvy enough to get them to be quiet long enough to hear the list in its entirety, but I did glean a little something from the disscussion. Women live longer than men because they have better immune systems.
Really? How is that? Why do women have better immune systems than men? And what exactly is an immune system, anyway? First things first…an immune system is an intricate system of biological structures in nearly every organism. It protects against disease by identifying and killing pathogens (bad cells/germs). It also helps the body by making and using healthy cells. It’s a pretty dynamic and elaborate system that adapts over time. It’s especially developed in humans.
Woman have a stronger immune system–according to researchers at the University of Canada–because of estrogen. Wow. Who knew that little hormone would actually help us gals live longer? You can read more about this study by clicking this link….
If you are looking to improve your already stellar immune system (hey, we could all use a little help sometimes), try these suggestions:
- Drink skim milk. It’s fat free and generally a little lower-cal than 1% milk but still has the same amount if vitamin D. Even a bit higher in protein than other milk varieties. It’s the vitamin D that helps build your immune system, so drink up.
- Eat yogurt. It has all of those “good” bacteria (live yogurt cultures) that help fight off germs. We recently tried “Good Belly” yogurt drink and love it, but other yogurt is just as good–Dannon makes a “good bacteria” yogurt, Activia.
- Have more fish. Fatty fish like mackerel, salmon, and sardines have a large amount of Omega-3 fatty acid which prevents arthritis and can decrease the chance that woman have heart attacks.
- Blueberries. They contain lots of antioxidants that help ward off germs and keep you healthy. Scientists are saying they are some of the best fruits for you. Snack on 1/2-1 cup daily and you should be in good shape. Toss ’em into your yogurt, cereal, oatmeal, or smoothie. Blueberries help fight off UTIs (urinary tract infections) Do blueberry muffins with a glass of skim milk count??!
- Have a glass of green tea. Make it iced or hot, doesn’t matter just have some…2-3 cups daily help with the antioxidant thing, too. Green tea naturally has caffeine so if you are restricting, be sure to read labels carefully.