BEFORE COLD SEASON
This winter is approaching fast, and with the cold wet weather comes cold and flu season as well. Instead of just waiting around hoping you won’t catch anything, why not take a proactive approach? As they say in football: “the best defense is a strong offense!” Here are my top 6 recommendations to build up your immune system so you can go into winter armed and ready to fight off the bugs!
1. Drink extra water. Most people forget to hydrate as much in the cooler months since it doesn’t feel as hot. But the truth is, you may need even more water with the dry winter air and heaters turned on. Make sure you are drinking at least 8-10 glasses of fresh water daily; and even more if you are exercising!
2. Vitamin C. Vitamin C is one of the most well known vitamins for boosting your immune system and fighting off colds and flu. These days, vitamin C is heralded for its antioxidant status. It destroys harmful free radicals that damage cells and can lead to cancer, heart disease, cataracts, and perhaps even aging. Vitamin C rejuvenates the immune system and aids in the absorption of iron and calcium.
3. Keep your digestion strong and healthy with probiotics. Probiotics are like the good bugs in your intestines that can also help fight off foreign invaders. Most of your immune system is actually located in the gut, so it makes sense to keep your gut healthy to maintain immunity!
4. Chicken broth or Bone broth soups. It may seem so cliché, but grandma was right when she told you to have chicken soup for a cold. Since chicken broth is derived from bones, it is rich in several important minerals. An 8-ounce serving of chicken broth offers more than 200 milligrams of potassium, which is 10 percent of your requirement for the day. Another high-profile mineral in chicken broth is phosphorous. Phosphorous aids in metabolism, helps build protein and healthy bones and teeth.
5. Eat some mushrooms. Many varieties of mushrooms such as enoki, shitake, and oyster are great immunity boosters. They are loaded with ergothioneine, which is a powerful antioxidant that does not break down during the cooking process. If you are already making a soup or stew, throw some extra mushrooms in there!
6. Rest, Don’t Stress! Holiday season can certainly be the most stressful time of year; unfortunately stress also weakens our immune system. So if you are starting to feel overwhelmed (or even before then!) take a moment to relax and slow down. Even a 5 minute breath meditation can help re-charge your energy and immune system!
These are just a handful of ways to set yourself up for success going into Cold and Flu season. If you take the extra steps everyday, you’ll be sure to make it through healthy and happy!