Prevention is the first defense to any illness. Here are real steps you can take to stay healthy this winter. The CDC (Centers for Disease Control) recommends a yearly flu vaccine as the first and most important step in protecting against flu viruses.
Here are some additional tips…
- Wash Your Hands Often: Most cold and flu viruses are spread by direct contact. Wash your hands often and/or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
- Drink Plenty of Fluids: Water keeps the tissues of the respiratory system moist and helps the immune system function properly.
- Do Aerobic Exercise Regularly: Moderate exercise – 30 to 90 minutes most days of the week increases immune function and reduces your chances of catching a cold.
- Control Stress: People who are experiencing emotional stress have weakened immune systems and are more likely to catch a cold than their calmer counterparts.
Strengthen your immune system with the right foods
- Some studies have shown that eating a daily cup of low-fat yogurt can reduce your susceptibility to colds by 25 percent.
- Phytochemical are natural chemical found in plants that give the vitamins in food a supercharged boost. Eat dark green, red, and yellow vegetables and fruits.
- 100% orange juice provides a good source of potassium for a healthy blood pressure, folic acid and an excellent source of antioxidant Vitamin C, which has been shown to help support a healthy immune system.
- Eat Soup! Did you know? Chicken soup can be a cold and flu fighter! Studies have shown that chicken soup specifically can thin mucus secretions. The vegetables in soup will give a healthy does of antioxidants to support a healthy immune system and the noodles will give you much needed energy from carbohydrate.
Spicy Goddess Smoothie
Reduce inflammation with pineapple, get some healthy-gut probiotics with yogurt, a spectacular source of vitamin K from kale to help regulate our body’s inflammatory process and clear those sinuses with cayenne – all in one glass!
- Puree ingredients in blender until smooth
- Add more water if thinner smoothie desired
Recipe by: Jacqueline Gomes, RDN, MBA