How To Beat The Summer Cold With Food
There's nothing worse than coping with a summer cold. Summer colds have a way of ruining vacations and making you completely miserable. To beat the summer cold your best defense may be right on your dinner plate. You can strengthen your immune system's infection-fighting ability by eating a balanced diet, exercising regularly and getting enough rest.
Here are some good nutrition tips to assist you in getting over that summer cold:
Rely On Real Food, Not Vitamins
Foods are better than dietary supplements for the prevention of colds and flu because you get the whole nutritional package. For example, eating an orange is better for you than just taking vitamin C because the orange offers you a combination of nutrients -- magnesium, potassium, folate, vitamin B6, and antioxidant-rich flavonoids.
Eating fruits and vegetables high in vitamin C will help to keep your immune system strong. Your immune system is what protects you from viral infections, and the foods you eat have a major impact on your immune system’s ability to fight off colds and flu.
Eat More Fruits And Vegetables
So now that you know you need to eat lots of fruits and vegetables to keep your immune system strong, the next step is to actually make it happen. People tend to eat fewer fruits and vegetables in the winter, which is the opposite of what you should be doing.
Everyone needs at least five servings of fruits and vegetables every day to get adequate vitamins, minerals, fiber and antioxidants - all things we need for a healthy immune system. Make fruits and vegetables part of each meal and snack.
Keep Up Your Healthy Diet
While you want to focus on increasing the amount of fruits and vegetables you eat, don't forget to choose other healthy foods to supply nutrients your immune system needs. A healthy balanced diet with lean meats, fish, poultry, low-fat dairy, legumes, whole grains, nuts and seeds provides your body with all of the nutrients you need for general health.
Protein sources such as lean meats, dairy, eggs and legumes are especially important because they supply the amino acids that your body needs to build the components of your immune system. Lean meats also contain iron and zinc; deficiencies of these minerals can depress your immune system.
What If You Do Get Sick?
Good nutrition is still important if you catch a cold or influenza. Focus on getting six meals and snacks per day, and don’t forget to keep eating lots of fruits and vegetables. It is important to get enough energy from the foods you eat while you are recuperating - you may not be running around and exerting much, but your body is working hard to get better. It is also important to stay hydrated. Drink fluids throughout the day such as water and 100% juices.
What Else You Can Do to Prevent Colds and Flu?
Eating a healthy diet is just part of the picture. Other tips to stay healthy include washing your hands, getting enough rest, getting your flu shot and getting some exercise.
Any form of stress will lower our resistance to infection by depressing the immune response. Although we may take summer holidays as a leisure activity many psychologists classify holidays as a major source of stress. All the worries about last minute parking, holiday insurance, kennels for the dog and home security can take their toll and leave us more susceptible to infection just when we want to be in top form to enjoy ourselves.
Written By: Jaclyn Pritchard, Registered Dietitian
DISCLAIMER: This information is for entertainment purposes only. The recommendations may not work for you, and should not take the place of the recommendations made by your own medical personnel. We are not responsible for the outcomes of any recommendations. Do not make any drastic changes to your diet without the supervision of your doctor/dietitian. For more information, please see a Registered Dietitian in your area. To find one, visit http://www.dietitians.ca/.