Stay Healthy this Flu Season

The freak blizzard this weekend has brought what seems like an early start to winter.  I really hope that I’m wrong about winter already and it warms back up and melts all the snow.   Either way, the change in seasons means cold and flu season has begun.  Living a healthy lifestyle can help you to prevent colds. This means eating well, exercising regularly and getting enough sleep.  Easier said than done, I know, so here are some particular things to keep you healthy.

Healthy Habits

  • Wash produce, even fruits and vegetables with skins you do not eat.  Just think of how many people touch them from when they are picked, packed, shipped, put on display and examined by others in the grocery store.
  • Disinfect things you touch all the time like your cell phones, key board, mouse, door handles, etc.
  • Wash your reusable water bottle daily.  Do not just pour out excess water.  Fill it with warm soapy water, shake it up, rinse it out and let it dry.
  • Wash your hands!

Immunity-Boosting Foods

  • Chicken soup: There’s a reason why your mom always gave you chicken noodle soup when you were sick as a kid.  In one study, hot chicken soup was found to be more effective at making noses run than hot or cold water.  When your nose runs your body is getting rid of viruses and bacteria.  Chicken soup also aids in hydration and keeps the temperature of your airways up to loosen secretions.
  • Yogurt: As if you haven’t heard enough from me about yogurt.  The probiotics found in yogurt aid in immunity and digestion.  Make sure the label says it contains “live active cultures”.
  • Green tea:  contains antioxidants known as polyphenols.  The specific polyphenols, catechins, may kill the flu virus.  Have your tea with a little honey or lemon, but avoid milk as the proteins bind to the polyphenols making them inactive.
  • Vitamin D:  is an important vitamin and antioxidant involved in immunity.  A study by the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that children who took 1,200IUs of vitamin D were less likely to get the flu than children who took a placebo.  Vitamin D can be found in fatty fish like salmon and fortified milk products.  We get the most vitamin D from sun exposure.  The best way to ensure you are getting enough vitamin D is to take a supplement.  Vitamin D may also help keep your spirits up from the winter blues.
  • Soluble fiber:  is the fiber found in citrus fruits, apples, carrots, beans and oats.  It helps fight inflammation and boosts immunity.

(source: Eating Well)

Overall?  Strive to eat healthy, exercise regularly and get enough sleep.  If you feel like your coming down with a cold have some chicken soup, take some vitamin C and rest!

Stay healthy 🙂