October 1, 2018
Immunity Boosting For Cold & Flu Season
The kids are back in school, the leaves are starting to change colour, and all things pumpkin spice are arriving. That can only mean one thing: cold and flu season is on the way! Now is a good time to boost your immune system and be intentional about germ prevention.
From a nutrition perspective, be sure you are consuming real, whole foods that are high in nutrients and offer antiviral and/or antibacterial properties, such as:
Yogurt: Yogurt will offer probiotics that will help keep your gut strong. Read the label to be sure that the ingredients indicate that the bacterial culture is ‘active’ and/or ‘live’. Avoid flavoured versions as they will contain immune-depressing sugar, as well as any that are ‘fat-free’. (When the fat is taken out, sugar is added in.) Add your own fresh fruit instead.
Pumpkin Seeds: These seeds are high in zinc and omega-3. If you are going to be carving a pumpkin for Halloween, why not save the seeds and roast your own.
Cold Water Fish: A good source of protein and omega-3.
Fresh Vegetables: As is said, ‘eat the rainbow’. Carrots, beets, sweet potatoes, and tomatoes are a rich source of beta-carotene, a precursor of vitamin A. Broccoli will give you a good range of vitamins A, C, and E. Mushrooms of all varieties are wonderful immune boosters. When possible, eat your veggies raw or lightly cooked to keep the vitamins at full potency.
Citrus Fruits: Get your vitamin C from citrus fruits. If you are on a medication that prohibits consumption of certain citrus fruit(s), you can get good amounts of vitamin C from red bell peppers and spinach instead. Your body cannot produce or store Vitamin C, so be sure to get a daily dose.
Apple Cider Vinegar: Consuming 1 tablespoon per day of raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar will give you a shot of nature’s antibiotic. ACV offers a generous amount of vitamins, minerals, and amino acids.
Ginger: Contains antiviral properties.
Garlic: Contains antiviral, antibacterial, and antifungal properties.
Green tea: Contains antiviral properties and is high in antioxidants. Have you ever tried the powdered form of green tea called ‘matcha’? Check out my blog post here to read more about this green powerhouse: https://nutraphoria.com/blog/fancy-a-cuppa/
Other Helpful Tips:
- Avoid sugar and alcohol, both of which can weaken your immune system.
- Keep your hands away from your face. Viruses are transmitted through the eyes, nose, and mouth, so be sure to wash your hands regularly with warm, soapy water. Remember: colds and flu are not bacterial, they are viral. Using antibacterial soap will not be beneficial. In fact, repeated use of such products can reduce our resistance to germs and may contain the chemical triclosan, a cell disruptor. Soap and water with a good hand rubbing with do the trick.
- Try to get plenty of sleep. Lack of rest inhibits the immune system and decreases the number of cells that fight off germs.
- Do your best to minimize stress. (I know. That can be a tough one!) A good way to mitigate stress is to regularly meditate and exercise. Moving our bodies improves circulation and helps our immune system to function better, while meditation promotes calm. In a study conducted at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, researchers found that colds and the flu are reduced in duration and severity between 30-60% for people who do both these things. Now that is nothing to sneeze at!
Here’s to your health! May your pumpkin be spiced, and your health be viral-free!
Nourish your body. Nurture your soul. Live life fully from the inside out!
P.S. – If you want to hang out I can be found on social media here: @HolisticJudith