It Doesn’t Have To Be Cold… To Get A Cold
by Michelle Latinsky, RD | With the relaxing days of summer behind us, the stress of getting back into our fall routines can be daunting. And while winter isn’t here quite yet, the change in seasons still brings with it the chance that you’ll get stuck at home with a case of the sniffles. Here are the top ways to stay healthy throughout the fall season:
Get Back to the Basics: Viruses are spread through hand-to-hand contact and through droplets in the air when someone sneezes or coughs. It’s important to regularly wash your hands with warm, soapy water for at least 20 seconds. Staying hydrated can also help prevent virus-filled droplets from finding their way into your system. Aim for eight to ten cups of fluids every day — try water, tea and soup.
Let the Sun Shine: Nicknamed the “sunshine vitamin,” vitamin D may help prevent colds and flu by boosting the body’s own immune defense system to fight off bacteria and viruses. To compensate for the lack of sunshine during the fall months (which limits the body’s ability to produce vitamin D naturally), be sure to supplement
with 1,000 International Units (IU) of vitamin D daily.
Include Nature’s Immune Boosters: A healthy diet and supporting natural health products are some of your best bets for staying healthy and keeping your immune system strong. Try the following nutrient-packed foods and supplements:
• Yogurt: Contains probiotics (“good” bacteria) that inhibit the growth of harmful bacteria and viruses in the digestive tract.
• Fish: Omega-3 essential fatty acids are “good” fats found in fish such as salmon, that help to strengthen the body’s resistance to infection.
• Deep orange fruits and dark green vegetables: Packed with beta-carotene and vitamin C, fresh or frozen produce can easily be incorporated into hearty soups and stews, salads, stir-fries and pasta dishes. A vitamin C supplement can also help to shorten the duration of a cold and reduce the severity of your symptoms.
• Echinacea: This herbal product can help minimize the duration of cold and flu symptoms and alleviate sore throats. It is best if taken within 24 hours of the onset of symptoms, and works by increasing the production of infection-fighting cells so that your body is better prepared to fight off cold and flu viruses.