With the rapidly changing weather and abundant colds circulating these days, here are some tips to keep your immune system strong with the change of seasons. Our immune system can become compromised by poor diet, lack of regular exercise, constant stress and lack of sleep, to name a few. The key to preventing illness is not to let yourself get run down. You’re much more susceptible to getting sick when you are overtired, stressed out and not eating well. Here are some basic guidelines to keep you healthy this season.
- Eat lots of fruits and vegetables – aim for 5-10 servings daily. Have fruits and vegetables in smoothies, salads, stir-fries, soups and stews. Bring vegetable and fruit snacks to work or school and combine with nuts and seeds / nut butters / hummus for variety.
- Just as we teach children to eat a rainbow on their plate, choose different coloured vegetables and fruits to ensure a good balance of vitamins and minerals – for example yellow (squash), orange (carrots), green (spinach) and red (grapes).
- Include garlic, onions, thyme and oregano to boost your immune system and fight viruses.
- Reduce sugar intake – sugar has a direct and strong affect on your immune system. For example a 12 ounce soft drink can depress your immune system for up to 5 hours! As mentioned in a previous blog article, challenge yourself to limiting sugar intake to no more than 25 grams per day!
- Drink plenty of water – at least one 8-oz glass of water for every 20 pounds of body weight you have. (For example, a 120 lb. woman needs at least 6 glasses of water each day). Water not only helps to flush out toxins, but also improves your energy levels.