Build Immunity This Cold and Flu Season
By Stephanie Forgues, New Leaf Wellness
Winter is here and so is the dreaded cold and flu season. Don’t surrender to it, arm yourself from it!
A healthy immune system will usually resist a cold and flu with ease; however, several factors contribute to a weakened immune system, opening the gateway to illness. Some of these factors include, but are not limited to;
Busy lifestyles, stress, lack of sleep (new parents can relate!), and not eating enough wholesome natural foods.
Protecting yourself from the common cold and flu is quite simple. There is a vast array of foods that will protect you, helping you cope with that stress, keeping you energized, and keeping your immunity up, reducing the chance of you becoming sick. Nutritionists like to call them Super Foods. And here are just a few of Mother Nature’s best!
Pomegranates - ‘Tis the season for this beautiful and mysterious fruit, it can be intimidating if you’ve never eaten one before but once you try it, you will be hooked. They are rich in Vitamin C and potassium and are loaded with a variety of antioxidants (our vital cell protectors). Don’t worry, most grocery stores provide instructions near the bins on how to access the wonderful nutrients inside.
Garlic - Small yet potent, these little white bulbs pack a huge dose of immunity. Add to a stir fry, soups, stews, or salads.
Onions - Another stinker, yes I know, but your body will thank you when it walks through winter’s wonderland without even getting a sniffle.
Ginger - Not just a cure for nausea, ginger is also a traditional treatment for cold and flu. Make tea using fresh ginger or add it to a stir fry.
When you are dealing with extra stresses, and/or lack of sleep, you are more susceptible to catching the bugs that go around; you will need even more nutrients to ensure you get that immune system boost. For some extra back-up for your immunity, try these supplements:
Echinacea - This works best when taken at the very early stages of a cold or flu, take Echinacea the minute you feel that scratch in your throat or your nose starts running.
Vitamin C - This super vitamin promotes the healing of every possible condition or ill health. Research shows that Vitamin C helps our body produce more white blood cells to fight infections. Make Vitamin C your best friend for the season. Try to buy Vitamin C containing Bioflavonoids, they help enhance the action of Vitamin C.
Vitamin B-Complex - The Bs need to be taken together in a complex formula for them to work properly. Try eating the foods containing the Bs to reduce the negative impact stress has on your body. Vitamin B can be found in whole grains, fresh vegetables, legumes, eggs, nuts and seeds.
The non-nutritive culprit when it comes to keeping you sick is SUGAR, simple sugars, the refined stuff that is in cakes, cookies, and even some sauces, as these toxins deplete the body of Vitamin C, making it easier for the sick bugs to creep into your system.
Of course, drink plenty of water, this is not news to you I’m sure! Lastly, ensure you eat a rainbow daily; try to eat assorted colors of fresh produce as they all have different life boosting nutrients to protect you.
With a little effort of eating the right foods and avoiding the bad guys, you can get through this season without a sniffle.