As the dreaded cold virus has been lingering around my house for days, I thought it was the perfect time to discuss foods/lifestyle choices that may help boost our immunity towards the cold and flu virus. Many factors play a role in whether or not you will fall victim to the dreaded cold or flu, including your diet. Of course foods alone won’t guarantee your health, but providing your body with all the essential nutrients it needs does help keep your body strong.
Here are some tips to promote a healthy immune system this season:
Fruits and vegetables. You have heard it time and time again; by eating a wide variety of colorful fruits and vegetables; at least 4-5 servings per day, will give you the vitamins and minerals needed to keep your immune system strong. Studies have shown that foods high in antioxidants like blueberries, blackberries, red berries, dark green vegetables, beans, or artichokes all play a pertinent role in fighting disease. All fruits and vegetables are superfoods, so focus on VAIRETY and COLORFUL!
Zinc and Vitamin C. Again, you can get these two nutrients from eating a wide variety of colorful fruits and vegetables. Zinc is also found in beans, fish, oysters, shrimp, pumpkin seeds and nuts. Vitamin C is found in citrus fruits, cantaloupe, pineapple, broccoli, and cauliflower. Research has shown that zinc and vitamin C both play a role in a healthy immune system, but don’t be so quick to grab a supplement. The best way to get a good balance of vitamins and minerals is from the food you eat, not a pill.
Hydration. Most of need about 64oz of water per day to help maintain a healthy balance of digestion, circulation, and transportation of nutrients. Water also oxygenates our blood and flushes out harmful toxins from the immune system.
Exercise. There are several theories on how exercise may increase your immunity to certain illnesses. Experts say: exercise helps to remove bacteria out of the lungs which may reduce your risks of certain illnesses and/or enables the production of white blood cells to circulate more rapidly in the body. Even though we don’t know the full extent of exercise on immunity; exercise has been proven time and time again to be beneficial to our body in a multitude of ways. It is recommended that most adults get at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity a weeks.
Wash your hands. This is the easiest and most obvious tip of the day. The CDC recommends to wash your hands for at least 20 seconds at a time.
Center For Disease Control and Prevention
US National Library of Medicine: Exercise and Immunity