During cold and flu season, head to the supermarket to strengthen your immunity and beat winter bugs by eating and drinking your way to good health. Here are our top tips:
Load up on Fruits and Veggies
Try to eat five servings of whole vegetables and fruits every day – it’s the easiest way to get enough vitamin C, which has a vital role in building a healthy immunity. The best sources are citrus fruits and their juices, berries, kiwi fruit, peppers, broccoli and tomatoes. Fruit and vegetables are also rich in antioxidants, which help remove free radicals (harmful molecules that can potentially damage the immune system).
Get Enough Vitamin E
This antioxidant is found in vegetable oils, avocado, nuts, green leafy vegetables and whole grains. It boosts immunity by helping maintain T-cell levels (a type of white blood cell that looks for infections).
Take a Daily Probiotic Supplement
Your digestive system is the first line of defense against infection, so it’s vital to keep it healthy with plenty of good bacteria. A probiotic supplement like Align provides 24/7 support with the patented bacteria strain B. infantis 35624 *§ to help fortify your digestive system.
Start Your Day with Breakfast
Breakfast skippers are more likely to suffer with coughs and colds, say Cardiff University researchers. To strengthen your immune system, try oatmeal or wholegrain cereal – they contain prebiotics, which stimulate the growth of good gut bacteria. Or have eggs, which contain immune-friendly selenium, vitamins A and D, and the B vitamin folate.
Snack on Nuts and Seeds
Walnuts, pecans, almonds and pistachios contain a powerhouse of nutrients including iron, zinc, copper and vitamin E. Brazil nuts are the true winner though – they’re loaded with selenium, a deficiency of which weakens immunity. Just 20g provide all the selenium we need in a day.
Eat Oily Fish at Least Once a Week
Salmon, trout, mackerel, sardines and fresh tuna contain a powerful combo of omega-3 fats and vitamin D. During the summer, our body makes vitamin D whenever our skin is exposed to sunshine. But in winter we often don’t get as much sun, so it’s important to eat more vitamin D-rich foods.
Incorporating these foods and supplements into your daily life is an easy way to naturally boost your immune system. If, however, you do catch a cold, remember that Vicks VapoRub helps relieve coughs, while Vicks Dayquil and Nyquil help combat your worst cold symptoms around the clock. Keep the Puffs tissues close by, and feel better soon!
How do you keep your immune system at its peak? Share your secrets in the comments section below!
§ Fortifies your digestive system 24/7 with continued daily use.
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.