Prepare for Cold & Flu Season
Posted on Oct 1, 2020
Cold and flu season is almost here. With Covid-19 still here, we have to be especially careful. So keep your masks on and be vigilant about practicing physical distancing, hand washing and not touching your face. And, it’s time to give our bodies an extra boost to fight off infection. Here are 4 areas you can start now:
- EAT REAL FOOD
Mushrooms have antiviral properties that can help strengthen your body against the flu virus. They contain many essential vitamins, such as vitamin B, C and D and are also high in protein, which is vital to build and repair body tissue and fight viral and bacterial infections. Our antibodies and immune system cells rely on protein. Too little protein in the diet may lead to symptoms of weakness, fatigue, apathy, and poor immunity. Every mushroom offers something different, so optimize your immune support by incorporating a variety into your dishes, like cremini, shiitake, white button and enoki.
Garlic & Onions
Load up on members of the allium family, like garlic, onions, shallots, and chives. Garlic has been shown to reduce the severity of cold and flu symptoms by increasing the activity of natural killer cells. Onions have properties that increase white blood cell counts, essential in fighting off pathogens. Sauté garlic and onions with mushrooms. It’s a winning cold/flu-fighting combination.
Australia’s seasons are opposite of ours, making kiwis readily available during our fall/winter season. One medium orange contains 160% of your daily need for vitamin C; a cup of grapefruit offers 120%. But a cup of kiwi leaves other citrus in the dust with 273%. It also shortens the duration of sore throats and reduces sinus mucus.
Carrots & Cauliflower
Carrots are an excellent source of beta carotene, which gives them their bright color. One of beta carotene’s jobs is to support the body’s mucus membrane, which lines the respiratory and intestinal tracts, making it harder for bacteria to enter the bloodstream and cause trouble. Only eat organic carrots since it is root vegetable will absorb any pesticides and soil toxins. Cauliflower is high in choline which keeps your cells functioning properly and helps support a healthy gastrointestinal barrier, keeping bacteria safely confined in the gut. It is also rich in glutathione, a powerful antioxidant that helps fight off infection. Put both in your chicken vegetable soup!
- DON’T EAT FAKE FOOD
Highly Processed Food
Highly processed food causes the wrong bacteria and yeast to grow in our bodies. Our immune function becomes compromised and then we aren’t able to fight off colds and flu. These foods contain a lot of extra sugar, salt, oil, and calories. A good example is frozen pizza. Additives and preservatives are also added to increase the food’s shelf life. Watch out for ingredients like dextrose, maltose, sodium nitrite, BHA/BHT, benzene, trans fat, and hydrogenated oil. Foods loaded up with these are bad for our bodies.
Studies have shown spikes in sugar intake suppress your immune system. When your immune system is compromised, you are more likely to get sick. If you eat a lot of foods and beverages high in sugar or refined carbohydrates, which the body processes as sugar, you may be reducing your body’s ability to ward off disease.
- LAUGH MORE
A good, hearty laugh relieves physical tension and stress, leaving your muscles relaxed for up to 45 minutes. Laughter boosts the immune system, decreases stress hormones and increases immune cells and infection-fighting antibodies, improving your resistance to disease. So stay away from depressing movies/TV shows and treat yourself to comedies or read the comics. Make sure you laugh a lot every day.
- MOVE, MOVE, MOVE
Shelter-in-place has made many of us move a lot less. We need to change that right now. Less sitting more moving! Physical activity helps flush bacteria out of the lungs and airways. This can reduce your chance of getting a cold, flu, or other illness. Exercise causes change in antibodies and white blood cells (WBC). WBCs are the body’s immune system cells that fight disease. Aim to get your 10,000 steps done every day. Walk, stretch, dance, housework and gardening all count. Find the movement that you enjoy.
Filed in Current Health News
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