For those of us in North America, the cold weather is on its way and with that comes the much dreaded cold and flu season! 🤧
Sniffles, chills, nausea, exhaustion and all of the other not-so-fun symptoms associated with this season may creep up on you at any moment. Cold and flu season can be very inconvenient for most, but it may also be quite dangerous for the elderly, the very young or those who struggle with compromised immune systems due to other illnesses.
Choose Immune Supportive Foods
The foods that we put in our bodies are one of the best forms of preventative medicine in the world. What we eat can either nourish our bodies and prevent us from getting sick, or it can break down our bodies’ defense systems.
For those reasons, it is so important that you take preventative measures to avoid catching these very common germs. Read ahead for 5 tips and tricks to beat this year’s cold and flu season! Each person is unique, but there are some general rules to follow when it comes to nutrition if you want the best chance of coming out on top this cold and flu season!
Following a lifestyle of consuming at least 80% of your diet in the “Immune Boosting Food Choices” list below and less than 20% in the “Immune Suppressing Food Choices” list should set you up for success!
Take Your Immunity Boosting Supplements!
If you are eating clean, then why do you need to take supplements you may ask?!
In an ideal world we would not have to take any additional supplements if we were eating whole foods, drinking a lot of water and taking care of ourselves! Unfortunately, this is not the case in our current society.
Because of mass production farming practices, much of our soil has become depleted! This means that the valuable minerals that our body needs to fight off disease and work at its optimal level, and that should be in the fruit and vegetables we consume, are often in very low concentrations.
We are also surrounded by an environment full of pollutants and chemicals that contribute to free radicals in the body. These free radicals, if not neutralized by an antioxidant, can contribute to damage to our cells which in turn lowers our body’s ability to fight illness.
When it comes to supporting immunity, supplements come in to help us with those extra vitamins and minerals that aren’t as abundant in our food anymore, and they also help us combat free radicals that are impossible to avoid. By taking our supplements regularly, we are ensuring that our body has the nutrients it needs to do its best to prevent illness!
Some cold and flu season supplements to take would be vitamins A, C, E, D and Selenium as well as Zinc! You can create your own immunity supplement here!
Increase Your Fluid Intake!
The human body should be made up of at least 60% water and cells rely on water to support the removal of waste. It is incredibly important that we drink enough water so that the body can properly detoxify!
When our body’s detoxification systems are working properly, our cells are set up for success to fight any illness that comes their way; this is because our bodies aren’t being overwhelmed by toxins and can therefore use their energy to fight off the pesky cold and flu germs instead!
Your body can not work on fighting off germs if your cells are struggling to function properly. It is so important that you aim for a minimum of 2L of water per day if you want to give your body the tools it needs to thrive!
Here are some tips to help you increase your water intake:
- Drink a huge glass of water as soon as you wake up in the morning.
- Set alarms throughout the day to remind yourself to drink your water.
- Make popsicles with water and crushed berries, or flavour your water with a fruit of your choice!
- Purchase a 1L bottle and challenge yourself to fill it up and drink it at least twice!
Stop Touching Your Face!
One of the hardest habits to break during cold and flu season is touching your face! It’s important to note that the majority of germs are caught through your mouth, nose and eyes.
Germs are easily transmitted through surfaces that many people touch such as doors and bus handles. For this reason, it is important that you avoid catching any pesky bugs by not bringing the germs up to your face.
Your supplement regimen and your immune supporting food habits should prevent most of the germs from beating your immune system, but if you continuously touch your face you’re giving the germs a really good chance at taking over.
If you find yourself touching your face without even realizing it, ask your friends and family to point out when they notice your hands close to your face. This will make you more conscious of this habit so that you can begin to break it!
Don’t Forget, Wash Your Hands!
We have all heard “Wash your hands!” since we were young enough to remember, but is it good enough to just do a quick hand wash with soap and water or do we need to do more? Surprise, we need to do more!
An important tidbit of information for preventing the common cold and flu that often gets overlooked is that we need to be washing our hands with warm water and soap for at least 20 seconds to ensure that the germs are killed! Experts say that the quick and easy 5 second wash just won’t cut it.
If you really want to avoid catching a cold or flu this season, make sure that you’re washing those hands with intention!
Quick Tip: Sing a happy birthday melody in your head while you wash your hands (or out loud if you feel like it), if counting to 20 bores you.
So by Following All of These Preventative Steps, I Will Not Catch a Cold or Flu This Season?
Well, taking preventative measures doesn’t mean that you’re entirely immune to the germs that are out there, but they will give you the best chance of strengthening your immune system to fight them off!
If you choose to eat immune supporting foods, take your supplements consistently, get a minimum of 2L of water in daily, avoid touching your face and wash your hands how they should be washed then your body will be set up for success!