Below are a few tips for strengthening your immune system through the cold and flu season.
Eat well: A healthy diet is essential to keep your immune system working its best
- Eat 7-12 vegetables and fruits every day.
- Brightly coloured vegetables are especially high in antioxidants. You need about 200 mg of Vitamin C per day to help fight colds. 200 mg of vitamin C equals 4-6 servings of fruits and vegetables such as peppers, broccoli, strawberries, oranges, grapefruit and berries.
- Choose protein foods at all meals and snacks: fish, beans, peanut butter, eggs, nuts/seeds, lean chicken, turkey and meats.
- Eat foods high in healthy omega-3 fats often (i.e. salmon, trout, eulachons, sardines, walnuts, ground flax, hemp hearts)
- Processed foods are full of preservatives, sugar, additives, and fats and are low in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.
- Drink enough water: Water helps flush waste products from your body. Keeping the mucosal lining in your lungs and sinuses hydrated boosts immunity.
For more evidence-based info, visit the newly updated Canada’s Food Guide:
This post was written by Kimberley Toonders (formerly Kim Black). Kim is an RD who works as a Public Health Dietitian with North Island Public Health, Island Health. Her role includes working with communities throughout the North Island to promote food security, and act as a healthy eating resource for early years programs and other community based health programs. She also works with the 4 North Island School Districts to support healthy schools initiatives. You can reach Kimberley at Kimberley.Toonders@viha.ca or 250-850-2115.
If you would like to write a guest post or have information to share about your work within our local food system, please connect with Leslie at firstname.lastname@example.org.