“Cold and Flu” season upon us, and it seems that everywhere you go you run into someone sneezing! How can you boost your immunity so you can stay healthy this Fall and Winter? Getting sick is not only uncomfortable, but it also impacts your productivity, your energy level and even your relationships. I know I am more irritable when I am not feeling like myself!
If you have kids, I am sure you can relate how hard it is not to get sick – they are like petri dish on legs! Do you know that on average, school-age kids in America experience eight to ten colds a year?* Let’s say you have two children, and the average cold lasts for 10 days, and each of the two parents get half of their colds. So you have (8+8+4+4) x 10=240 days of someone possibly being sick in your household – that’s is more than half the year!!
Luckily, there are some easy ways to strengthen your immune system by adding some common yet nutritious foods to your diet. They have high immunity-boosting nutrients (e.g. vitamins A, B, and C, zinc), anti-viral and/or anti-bacterial properties:
1. Yogurt (ideally plain yogurt as added sugar can suppress immunity) – Yogurt contains beneficial probiotics to help strengthen immune system. I also recommend supplementing with a probiotic daily from September through April.
2. Pumpkin seeds – high in zinc and omega-3, both essential for a healthy immune system.
3. Cold water fish – good source of protein and omega-3. Choose wild caught and not farm raised.
4. Fresh fruits and vegetables, especially carrots, beets, sweet potatoes, tomatoes – they are rich in beta-carotene, a precursor of vitamin A.
5. Ground seeds, lentils, beans and whole grains – good source of B vitamins and protein.
6. Ginger – has anti-viral properties.
7. Garlic – has anti-viral and anti-bacterial properties.
8. Honey (local and raw) –has anti-viral properties.
9. Green tea – has anti-viral properties.
10. Mushrooms – Shiitake and lesser known maitake and reishi mushrooms elevate flu-fighting agents.
Bonus tip: Sugar (especially refined sugars) can also weaken your immune system so try to avoid it as much as possible.
What are your favorite immunity boosting tips? We’d love to hear from you!
If you are looking for additional ways to keep your family healthy and clean up your diet, contact me and we can chat about a program to fit your lifestyle and needs.
*according to The Children’s Hospital Guide to Your Child’s Health and Development