Moderate Drinking May Boost Immune System


It's still not too late to get the flu shot. You've heard the advice before, right? Every year the flu sends an estimated 200,000 people to the hospital, and many more suffer through the symptoms at home.

Sure, you might get a day off work, but it's hardly a party if you have a fever, cough, sore throat, runny nose, muscle aches and pains, or fatigue. If your immune system isn't strong enough to fight it, the flu can take a toll. It's one reason why health professionals recommend getting the flu vaccine.

But is there anything else you can do to strengthen your immune system? Yes. Eating a healthy diet with plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables and other foods rich in nutrients can make a difference. Regular exercise and adequate sleep can help, too. But there's at least one other thing than can give your immune system a boost.

A recent study published in the journal Vaccine found that moderate drinking may help you ward off the flu and other viruses. In fact, researchers found that moderate drinking may be a better prevention strategy to fight the flu than actually getting the flu vaccine.

But there are a few things to keep in mind before you skip the flu shot and pop open a bottle of wine. First, the subjects of the study were primates that have an immune system similar to humans. That means more research is needed to verify the results. Second, moderate drinking means no more than 2 drinks per day for men. And no more than 1 drink per day for women, zero if pregnant.

If you drink, a good wine isn't complete without a good meal to go with it. Grab your corkscrew and make meal planning easy with healthy meals made from fresh ingredients at