The holiday season is quickly approaching. Unfortunately, the holidays are often accompanied by the dreaded coughing, sniffling, and sneezing cold and flu season. You might figure that since you’ve gotten your flu shot, you’re safe from those annoying symptoms.
But wait! A flu shot just might not be enough. There’s so much more you can do to avoid buying all that extra Kleenex, scarfing down your favorite cold and flu medication, and above all, stop the flu IN ITS TRACKS!
You need to take action to build up your immune system. It can be done, and Bea’s can give you some tips to do just that:
First, eat a healthier diet. That means getting plenty of antioxidants – found in foods that do not resemble fast-food burgers or snacks like Hostess cupcakes. No surprises here: you can get immune boosting antioxidants by eating plenty of fruits and veggies. Brightly colored fruits and vegetables have higher concentrations of these antioxidants. Eat more berries, for example: blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, and cranberries, just to name a few. Add leafy green vegetables such as spinach, kale, cauliflower, broccoli, Brussels sprouts to your meals. If you love peppers, eat all varieties, yellow, green, orange and red.
The best way to eat your veggies is raw or lightly steamed, in order to keep the antioxidant advantage intact. And seriously, we need a minimum of 5 servings every day – ideally, we should be eating 9 servings. (Heck, why have one vegetable with lunch or dinner when you could have two or three?)
Secondly, take time each day to get some exercise! If the weather’s not too vile, take a brisk walk outside. If the snow’s too deep, exercise inside, or join an inexpensive gym such as Planet Fitness. All it takes is 30 minutes of moderate exercise each day to boost our immunities. Exercise also has additional benefits. It helps reduce stress, which in turn boosts both physical and emotional health.
Next, take time to fight off STRESS! The holidays can lead to stress overload, and chronic stress is bad for our immune system. Find time to relax, get a massage, meditate, just say “No” to over-demanding people, don’t watch the nightly news! You can find out about more stress relievers here.
Other healthy tips include: cooking with canola or olive oil, eating Greek low-fat yogurt, enjoying some hot, steamy chicken soup (good for your soul, as well); as well as washing your hands frequently and getting a good night’s sleep.
By taking these simple actions, you can avoid having to spend the Christmas holidays sick in bed! Unless, of course, you WANT to steer clear of your relatives; in that case, ignore all my advice)
For further reading:
20 Surprising Ways to Prevent Colds and Flu