Staying Well thru Cold & Flu Season
We are busy, overscheduled and often juggling one too many things! When we’re overcommitted it’s a struggle to decide where to focus our time and energy, and we tend to put ourselves and our health on the backburner. The weather is cooler, people are sneezing, and before we know it, we’ve come down with a dreary winter cold. You can protect yourself from this unwanted Winter guest through the power of nutrition! Below, we’ve got some great tips to help you stay healthy, happy, and well this winter season.
When it comes to beating the yearly yuck, some swear by vitamin C while some believe in getting a good night’s sleep. We can all agree, though, that a diet full of healthy foods is the foundation for a strong immune system. Our immune system is our first line of defense against viruses, bacteria, and toxins. During this time of year, our immune system must work overtime to keep us healthy. Therefore, we should be doing all we can to help our immune system play its critical role flawlessly.
Nutrition is the key to a healthy body, especially one that is under attack. Without the proper fuel, our bodies cannot repair and rejuvenate; leaving us vulnerable to illness. Proper fuel for the body comes from wholesome foods that are minimally processed and full of vitamins and minerals (especially antioxidants). Avoid sugar and fat-laden foods that have minimal nutritional value. Unfortunately, this time of year, we tend to forgo fresh produce for more convenient packaged goods. Sticking to a variety of fresh vegetables, fruits high in antioxidants, lean proteins, and healthy fats- will help us maintain a robust immune system.
Proper nutrition isn’t just a part of defending the body against illness – it is imperative in healing ourselves once we do succumb to a bug. Healthy, clean foods allow the body to fight back and get you on the road to recovery quicker. During an illness, sometimes “healthy” food isn’t always appealing. Stick to what is. Find ways to make the things that sound good actually do good for you. For example, let’s say you are craving a milkshake. Opt for a fresh fruit smoothie instead that is filled with dark leafy greens and berries. This is a wonderful option for someone suffering from a winter-time bug. Bonus: smoothies also provide water which is critical to recovery.
Vitamins play an important part in staying well too. While we should do all we can to eat right, sometimes it simply isn’t enough. In those cases, a multivitamin and mineral can do wonders. MRC’s multi-vitamin paired with Vitamin D3 is a powerful combination of immune-boosting health. Don’t have the time or the taste for fruits and vegetables? Use MRC’s Super Fruit & Vegetable drink mix! It’s packed with 9 servings of fruit and vegetables in every scoop! Talk to an MRC Coach today to find out more about the best regimen for your immune system this winter!
Prefer to eat your veggies rather than drink them? No problem! Try chips. Vegetables make awesome chips, and they give you the crunch without the calories! The best vegetables to use for this type of preparation are root vegetables and hearty greens (e.g., beets, zucchini, parsnips, rutabaga, kale). Here are five of our favorite healthy chip recipes!
In addition to proper nutrition and supplementation, be sure to get plenty of rest and drink lots of water. Eight hours of sleep per night, on average, is sufficient. During and after an illness, however, it is essential to listen to your body. If you are tired, sleep more, and don’t feel bad about it! Always strive to maintain adequate water intake to avoid dehydration and help your body heal more quickly. Also be sure to follow proper hygeine and hand cleansing protocol - keeping your hands clean and away from your face as much as possible. It is always recommend to consult with your primary care physician to determine if you are ill and their treatment and recovery recommendations.
The bottom line is that we cannot avoid germs altogether but we CAN prepare our immune system to go to battle!
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