It’s cold and flu season: bolster your defenses

A strong immune system is the body’s best defense against colds and flu. Good nutrition is the key to building your body’s defenses.

Simone Jennings

Special to the Tribune/Advisor

A strong immune system is the body’s best defense against colds and flu. Good nutrition is the key to building your body’s defenses.

Help fight common bugs by filling your diet with healthy foods.

Load up on fruits and vegetables.

They contain powerful antioxidants, vitamins and minerals which will build up your immune system to help fight off illness.

Choose brightly coloured or dark green fruits and veggies for the most antioxidants. Aim for seven  to eightservings per day.

One serving equals one small to medium sized piece of fruit or vegetable or half a cup of chopped.

Digestive health plays an important role in preventing sickness. Normally, your body contains “friendly” bacteria, or flora, that help fight off any “bad” bacteria trying to gain access to your system.

Diets high in refined sugar, frequent antibiotic use, and everyday stress can disrupt this healthy balance of “friendly” versus “bad” bacteria, leaving one more vulnerable to sickness.

You can help restore healthy digestive flora by eating foods that naturally contain good bacteria and/or by taking a probiotic supplement.

Probiotics can be found naturally in fermented foods such as yogurt, buttermilk, miso, tempeh, and fresh sauerkraut.

Vitamin D is also thought to play an important role in strengthening the immune system. Health Canada recommends 400-800 IU per day depending on age.

Some other national health organizations recommend higher doses.

For instance the Canadian Cancer Society recommends 1000 IU per day for adults during the fall and winter months. Dietary sources of vitamin D include milk, fortified yogurts, fortified soy beverage, salmon, tuna, sardines and egg yolks.

Talk to your health care provider to learn if you are getting enough Vitamin D.

Of course nutrition is only part of the solution. Exercise is also a powerful way to bolster your immune system.

Among the many benefits of exercise is stress reduction.

Stress takes a significant toll on our immune system so it’s important to take time just for you.  Get out for a brisk walk, bike ride, take part in yoga or any physical activity that you enjoy!

Author:  Simone Jennings is a Community Nutritionist with Interior Health.

 

Just Posted

More than 75 golfers tee off at annual WLGTC 2 Lady Classic

Visiting players account for more than half the field

Dr. Glenn Fedor honoured with lifetime achievement award

Early in his career, Dr. Fedor provided GP anesthesia, maternity care and emergency medicine.

UPDATE: River Valley fire started at location of homeless camp

“Fire is out,” Peterson said. “Cause is undetermined but was in the location of a camp.”

CCCTA pleased with marketing efforts

The new three per cent accommodation tax collected since May 2018 totals $674,000

Protesters rally in Victoria over newly approved Trans Mountain pipeline

The Still No Consent! No Trans Mountain! 20 kilometre march will end at Island View Beach

Wildfire burning in coastal forest

A fire beside the Sea to Sky Highway is burning up a steep slope

PHOTOS: Event marks one year since soccer team rescued from Thai cave

Nine players and coach took part in marathon and bike event to help improve conditions at cave

Rock climber dies after fall at Stawamus Chief in Squamish

The man had fallen about 30 metres while climbing in the Grand Wall area

Five B.C. students taken to hospital after playing with vaping device

School district said students were taken to hospital ‘out of an abundance of caution’

Being a pot dealer is not what it used to be

Sunday Big Read: the business of selling marijuana in B.C. is a slow bureaucratic slog

VIDEO: Two more pride flags have been stolen from Langley woman

Lisa Ebenal was “angry” and “fed up” after the latest theft. Then people started showing suppport

B.C. couple who has raised 58 children turns to community amid cancer diagnosis

Family who raised, fostered and adopted many kids hoping to gain some precious together time to fight cancer

Canucks acquire forward J.T. Miller from Lightning

J.T. Miller, 26, had 13 goals and 34 assists for the Lightning last season

Most Read