By Theresa Albert, DHN, RNCP
When a kid goes back to school, they (and you!) are exposed to everything all over again. What they didn’t catch last year, they will this year.
Nothing boosts your immune system like a healthy diet of “immunity foods,” foods that avoid excess sugar, bad fats and depleted white wheat – so start there first. Then you want to follow these three key habits regularly: wash your hands, keep them out of your mouth, nose and eyes and sneeze into your sleeve.
Beyond that, there are nutrients that act as immunity system boosters that your body uses as tools to be sure it can fight off whatever comes flying at you this cold and flu season.
- Probiotics – There is growing evidence that probiotics contribute to immunity in a variety of ways. Probiotic Yogurt does help and it should be a daily food but you also want to consider a supplement. There are liquids and powders that can be mixed into anything but you want to store them in the fridge and prevent them from being heated which kills the active ingredient.
- Catechins-Green Tea boasts one of the best anti-bacterial properties under study. There are decaf versions that are great with honey as a morning beverage or in the fridge iced. Shoot for a couple cups daily.
- Vitamin D – Canadians won’t get strong enough sunshine from now to about April. There’s a good dose in caviar, try the Greek dip called taramasalata that uses fish roe to make a yummy dip for your (whole grain) pita.
- Vitamin E – A potent antioxidant that is best taken from food. Sunflower and pumpkin seeds are good sources.
- Vitamin C is still your best go-to source for overall immunity. Get as much as you can from fresh fruits – kiwi is particularly high.
- Zinc lozenges – Suck on 2 or 3 each day to keep the sickness away. (It also helps pimply skin for your adolescent… just sayin’!)
About the Author:
Theresa Albert is an author and on call, private nutritionist in Toronto. She is @theresaalbert on twitter and found daily at www.myfriendinfood.com