It’s Cold and Flu Season – Bolster Your Defenses!

Community Nutritionist with Interior Health, Simone Jennings, talks immune systems and how to make them stronger.

  • Feb. 29, 2012 6:00 p.m.

Simone Jennings

Community Nutritionist with Interior Health

 

A strong immune system is the body’s best defense against colds and flu. Good nutrition is key to building your body’s defenses. Help fight common bugs by filling your diet with healthy foods.

Load up on fruits and vegetables. They contain powerful antioxidants, vitamins and minerals which will build up your immune system to help fight off illness. Choose brightly coloured or dark green fruits and veggies for the most antioxidants. Aim for 7 to 8 servings per day. One serving equals one small to medium sized piece of fruit or vegetable or half a cup of chopped.

Digestive health plays an important role in preventing sickness. Normally, your body contains  “friendly” bacteria, or flora, that help fight off any “bad” bacteria trying to gain access to your system.  Diets high in refined sugar, frequent antibiotic use, and everyday stress can disrupt this healthy balance of “friendly” versus “bad” bacteria, leaving one more vulnerable to sickness.

You can help restore healthy digestive flora by eating foods that naturally contain good bacteria and/or by taking a probiotic supplement. Probiotics can be found naturally in fermented foods such as yogurt, buttermilk, miso, tempeh, and fresh sauerkraut.

Vitamin D is also thought to play an important role in strengthening the immune system. Health Canada recommends 200-600 IU per day depending on age. Some other national health organizations recommend higher doses. For instance the Canadian Cancer Society recommends 1000 IU per day for adults during the fall and winter months. Dietary sources of vitamin D include milk, fortified soy beverage, salmon, tuna, sardines and egg yolks. Talk to your health care provider to learn if you are getting enough Vitamin D.

Of course nutrition is only part of the solution. Exercise is also a powerful way to bolster your immune system. Among the many benefits of exercise is stress reduction. Stress takes a significant toll on our immune system so it’s important to take time for yourself.  Get out for a brisk walk, bike ride, take part in yoga, or any physical activity that you enjoy!

 

Just Posted

Forecasters promote avalanche safety awareness

Avalanche Canada advising backcountry enthusiasts to get proper training and equipment.

Highway conditions less than ideal this morning

Limited visibility, standing water, slippery sections: DriveBC report

From high schooler to new business owner

She may only be 19-years-old, but Zoe Simard already has a successful business.

Todd Stone campaigns in Cranbrook

BC Liberal leadership hopeful makes pitch to local supporters.

The Rockets winless streak continues on

The Golden Rockets continued their 19 game winless streak, dropping both games this past weekend.

VIDEO: Rare comic showing Superman’s 1st appearance to be auctioned

The 1938 comic features Superman hoisting a car over his head

David Cassidy, teen idol and ‘Partridge Family’ star, dies at 67

Cassidy announced earlier this year he had been diagnosed with dementia

Vigil held for woman whose remains were found on Shuswap farm

Family and friends remember Vernon resident Traci Genereaux and along with five other missing women

Brewers create anti-fascist ale

Not For Nazis Nut Brown Ale made in the Shuswap will be ready in time for Christmas

LETTER: Jumbo Valley is part of Ktunaxa territorial claim

Ktunaxa Nation Council responds to Tom Fletcher column

3,800-plant grow-op busted on First Nation reserve

Three men face charges after RCMP bust a large drug operation on the Soowahlie Reserve near Chilliwack

VIDEO: Government approves funding of $750,000 drug for B.C. woman

Approval comes one day after province announces funding for Soliris on a case-by-case basis

B.C. boy’s social media bid to get levidrome in the Oxford dictionary goes viral

‘It’s been five weeks and has totally blown up today.’

Whistler venues could see 2026 Olympic action

Calgary is looking to cut down on costs

Most Read