• Wellness

Eating to Stay Healthy During Cold and Flu Season

Flu viruses can be found year round but more influenza activity starts to increase in October, peaking from December to February. So in order to end this year healthy and start 2019 off on the right foot, here are some simple tips to keep your immune system strong!

 

Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate!

Every cell, organ, and muscle in your body needs water to function properly. Water helps remove toxins from your body through your urine and by keeping you regular.

Nourish Rx: Try to drink 1 to 1.5 liters of water to help support your body’s daily function.

 

Besides drinking water, ensure you stay hydrated by trying to add the following to your routine

  1. Start your mornings off with warm water and lemon
  2. Sip on herbal, non-caffeinated tea throughout the day
  3. Eat your water! Snack on high water content foods like cucumbers, peppers, and celery.
  4. Enjoy broths – whether it’s bone broth, vegetable broth or miso soup stay hydrated while packing in tons of nutrients.

Eat the Rainbow:

Try eating as many different colored vegetables and fruits you can in order to ensure you are getting a diverse amount of minerals and phytonutrients. Phytonutrients are what give fruits and vegetables their beautiful color. They also have anti-inflammatory, immune-boosting, and potent antioxidant properties that help fight heart disease, cancer, and keep your immune system strong.

Nourish Rx: Try aiming for 5 different colors a day!

Some examples of phytonutrients include:

  • Resveratrol, the flavonoid found in grapes, which gives red wine its reputation for being a “superfood.”
  • anthocyanidins, which have antioxidant benefits and also give berries and other fruits their rich blue, red and purple colors
  • epicatechin, the main flavonoid found in cacao
  • Allicin, found in garlic
  • polyphenols, found in green tea and berries.
  • Carotenoids,  found in carrots, sweet potatoes, tomatoes spinach, kale, and collard greens
  • Glucosinolates, found in cruciferous vegetables, including Brussels sprouts, Cabbage, Kale, Broccoli

 

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Get your Zinc:

Zinc is an essential trace element that has many important functions in our bodies, from brain health to fertility. Zinc also helps strengthen our immune system by playing an important roll in the production and function of the immune cells that fight off infections [2]. Since our body doesn’t make zinc on its own, it’s vital to make sure we are getting enough of it through food. Check out our article on zinc to find out the different food sources to add to your diet to make sure you’re getting enough.

Keep your Gut Healthy:

Since 70% of your immune system is made in your gut, it makes sense that supporting a healthy gut microbiome is vital in strengthening your immune system and preventing illness.

Nourish Rx: Keep your gut healthy by:

  1. Eating fiber: Try getting 20-30 grams a day by increasing your fruit, vegetable, legumes, and whole grain intake. You can also add two tablespoons of ground flax seeds to your smoothies or salads
  2. Limiting processed sugar

3. Eating foods high in pre and probiotics like:

  • Sauerkraut
    Kimchi
    Kombucha
    Yogurt
    Miso
    Apple cider vinegar
    Brine-cured olives
    Raw garlic
    Leeks
    Onions

 

Wellness:

In addition to getting in the right nutrition, holistically support your immune health by focusing on getting adequate sleep, sweating it out 30 minutes a day, and managing your stress through meditation, yoga, or taking a hot bath, whatever works for you!

 

P.S Check out our Immune Boosting Pumpkin Muffins

Sources
  1. www.cdc.gov/flu/about/season/flu-season.htm
  2. www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2277319/
  3. www.health.harvard.edu/
  4. www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2515351/

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