Coughs, sneezes, cold and flu are not fun, especially when the holidays are right around the corner. Right now ironically we are dealing with flu season, colds are being spread due to the weather change and what not. I think you would agree with me that now is one of the worst times to be getting sick. With the holidays being right around the corner, keeping our immune system strong is so important. No one wants to miss out on all of the festivities, baking, gift shopping, travels or having to stay away from relative who are in town. Like myself in the past, you might think taking large amounts of Vitamin C supplements each day is the best way to keep a cold at bay. However, this can be costly and at very high doses could cause adverse health effects. Remember, too much of even a good thing can be bad. There are easier ways to go about having a sneeze-free holiday season…you might be able to guess where I’m going with this. As Hippocrates once said, “Let Food be thy medicine…”. This can still be the answer today.
There are so many foods that you can include in your meals each day to make sure your immune system is running at its best. It is also important that you are using whole foods to get the greatest amount of nutrients. There is a group of vitamins and minerals that work to enhance our immune systems. Some of these are zinc, Vitamin E, and Vitamin C, which I’d like to highlight for you.
Zinc is a trace mineral that assists in cell and tissue growth and repair for the immune systems. It is a strong antioxidant and can have anti-inflammatory properties. Seafood and legumes are great food sources that are rich in zinc.
Next we have Vitamin E, a fat-soluble vitamin that acts as a great antioxidant for our bodies, and also is an important factor in the health of our blood, skin and brain function. Most well balanced diets should provide enough Vitamin E. Since it is a fat soluble vitamin it will be found it food sources such as nuts, seeds and cooking oils.
Then we have the famous Vitamin C, it has many important roles from enhancing iron absorption, assisting protein metabolism to fighting free radicals. Vitamin C plays a huge role in wound healing through assisting in tissue growth, delays cancers due to the strength of the antioxidant properties, to even shortening the duration of a cold. As you may know, citrus is a great food source of Vitamin C, yet there are plenty of others. Broccoli, tomatoes and brussel sprouts are also great sources of Vitamin C.
Now, ladies and gentlemen, you may face the flu season head on with an arsenal of fruit, veggies and other powerful foods in you back pocket…or should I say in your kitchen.