February brings snowstorms, wind that cuts right through your coat, and a lack of available sunlight.
Ah, the joys of winter!
For many of us, winter means more time indoors, and a higher likelihood that we gather indoors. When people are sick, that means that germs may circulate that could cause us to become sick.
When your ill, food is the last thing on your mind. Everything seems unappetizing when your nose is clogged, and
Rest and fluids are critical when you’re ill
you can’t taste a thing. But, by making healthy food choices, you can become stronger and speed up your recovery. Also, by maintaining a healthy diet, you can strengthen your immune system and perhaps even get sick less often.
Eating the right foods when you have a cold can make big difference in reducing how long the cold lasts and the symptoms you experience.
You’ve heard it before, but it’s true. Food is the fuel for your body. You wouldn’t imagine putting diesel fuel into a Ferrari, so let’s dial down our nutrition and give your digestive system a break. Be sure to eat easily digestible, nutrition-dense foods like lots of vegetables, low-moderate amounts of fruit and lean meats. It will help your immune system stay strong.
Here are a few other ideas to get started:
– Bone broth contains minerals that can boost your immune system. Most butcher shops sell bones for making your own bone broth.
– Probiotics found in yogurt can improve your sleep, digestion, and immunity. Choose unflavored/unsweetened plain greek style yogurt and add your own fruit.
– Lean meats, especially those with omega-3 fatty acids, can reduce inflammation. Fish, grass-fed beef and free range poultry are best.
Don’t get left stranded on the road or when you’re held up at the office and getting home late. A little planning can go a long way. Most of the time, we make poor choices when we are in a rush, or unprepared. And this often results in stopping by a restaurant or taking out food on the run.
Create a simple calendar highlighting your meals for the week. Healthy home-cooked meals will not only strengthen your immune system, but it can also help you save money! Another great suggestion – cook once and eat twice. Cook yourself extra food so you can take leftovers for lunch the next day.
Lots of people reach for some good old vitamin C when they have a cold. It helps a lot, but it’s important to the get the right kind. Your best source is from fruits and vegetables. But when it comes to supplements, buffered Vitamin C is what you want. Buffered Vitamin C is easy on your stomach and is absorbed well by the body.
Vitamin D is an absolute must. Besides taking it regularly, you want to make sure you get the D3 version. It is readily absorbed and acts like a turbocharger for your immune system.
Zinc is another great immune system helper. Lots of great sources include seafood, red meat and nuts/seeds.
Chicken soup inhibits neutrophil chemotaxis in vitro. Chest. Oct 2000
Probiotics and immune health. Current Opinion in Gastroenterology. Oct 2011
Omega-3 fatty acids in inflammation and autoimmune diseases. The Journal of the American College of Nutrition. Dec 2002
Dr. Craig Hazel’s mission is to help families THRIVE. After graduating from Queen’s University with a Bachelor of Science and a Bachelor of Physical and Health Education, he went on to earn a Doctor of Chiropractic degree and a Bachelor of Science in Anatomy from Parker College of Chiropractic in Dallas Texas. He is passionate about seeing children and families in his private practice at Synergy Chiropractic in Kanata Ontario. A sought after speaker, he has been featured regularly on TSN Team 1200, CTV and Rogers TV. He is also the Chairman of the Alliance for Chiropractic of Ontario.