Pamela Ofstein is the Director of Nutrition Services at eDiets.com, a leading provider of weight loss services, information and products.
I wish I could say there is a flawless remedy for the common cold or flu, but really there isn’t one to date. Avoiding getting sick is the first line of attack. First, keep washing those hands; second, incorporate a healthy lifestyle (eating, exercising, sleeping, etc.); and lastly, avoid all those friends and family you know who are sick!
Here are a few things to eat to help you stay healthy, fight off infections, and boost your immune system (notice the abundance of antioxidants):
- Fruits and veggies (dark green, red, orange, and yellow fruits and vegetables)
- Foods with B-6 (lean meats, fish, nuts, seeds)
- Vitamin E-rich foods (nuts, mango, blueberries, papaya, pumpkin)
- Omega-3 fatty acids (salmon)
- Garlic (go for the raw garlic)
- Yogurt (I know it’s usually recommended to avoid dairy, but studies show that it can help reduce susceptibility to colds)
Include exercise. In terms of prevention, aerobic exercise helps the heart pump harder, makes you breathe faster and you begin to sweat once your body heats up – this helps increase the body’s natural virus-killing cells. Not so easy when you are feeling sick (I get that), but a good reason to include it to avoid the bugs. Don’t forget to keep hydrated with water to flush out that system.
Defend yourself this season by keeping clean, eating well, exercising… and sleeping! And of course, try to limit exposure to those people who are sick (say that to a mom of three!) and under the weather. Better safe than sorry.
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