“Cold & Flu” season is upon us and it seems that everywhere you go, you run into someone sneezing! Getting sick is not only uncomfortable, but it also impacts your productivity, your energy level and even your relationships (have you ever gotten snappy at someone because you are groggy and achy, or have a sore throat and headache just won’t quit?)
If you have kids, I am sure you can relate how hard it is not to get sick from them – they are like petri dishes on legs!
Think about this: on average, school-age kids in America experience eight to ten colds a year? (Keeping Children Healthy in Body and Mind: Birth through 10, Farooq Mirza M.D.)
Doing the math, if you have two children, and the average cold lasts for 10 days, and each parent will get half of their colds: you end up (8+8+4+4) x 10=240 days of someone possibly being sick in your household – that’s is more than half the year!!
How can you boost your immunity and stay healthy this fall and winter?
Fortunately, there are some easy ways to strengthen your immune system. By adding common, yet nutritious foods to your diet, you can prevent getting sick in the first place; and certainly lessen the symptoms and duration of a cold if you do get sick.
Immunity boosting nutrients: vitamins A, B, and C, zinc, anti-viral and/or antibacterial properties:
- Yogurt (ideally organic plain yogurt as added sugar can suppress immunity) – probiotics
- Pumpkin seeds – zinc and omega-3, both essential for a healthy immune system.
- Cold water fish – good source of protein and omega-3
- Fresh fruits and vegetables, especially carrots, beets, sweet potatoes, tomatoes – beta-carotene, a precursor of vitamin A.
- Ground seeds, lentils, beans and whole grains – good source of B vitamins and protein.
- Ginger – has anti-viral properties.
- Garlic – has anti-viral and anti-bacterial properties.
- Honey (raw) –has anti-viral properties.
- Green tea –has anti-viral properties.
- Mushrooms (maitake, reishi, shiitake) – elevate flu-fighting immune cell activity.
Bonus Tips: avoid sugar and alcohol, both of which can weaken your immune