December is known for the holidays, festive occasions and …the flu. Typically we start to see signs of colds and the more serious flu virus popping up this time of year. It’s probably due to the fact that as the weather turns colder we are indoors and in close proximity to each other. Plus, crowded shopping venues and packed holiday parties are ideal for spreading germs. Since surrounding yourself in a plastic bubble or wearing a hazmat suit from December through March is out of the question, your best line of defense is a healthy immune system.
A healthy body fights off those incoming viruses much better than one lacking in nutrients. Vitamins A and C, along with zinc play a key role in boosting your immune system. In fact, some over-the-counter cold medicines contain these vitamins to provide extra help in fighting off germs. In order to maintain a healthy immune system it is especially important to eat a wide variety of fruits and vegetables. Think rainbow, as the different colors provide your body with different kinds of vitamins and minerals.
Remember that having a healthy immune system not only helps to prevent a cold or the flu, but also helps to speed up recovery time should you come down with something. Keep yourself hydrated with water and 100% fruit juice when feeling under the weather for added vitamins (orange juice is a great source of Vitamin C!) and make sure you allow your body enough rest to recover.
A recent Insider’s Viewpoint by Jewel-Osco Dietitian Kim Kirchherr provides additional tips on fighting off the cold and flu virus like washing your hands frequently and getting an annual flu vaccine. Plus, there are some great soup recipes designed to make you feel better while providing you with all the nutrients you need on your road to recovery.