Winter is almost here, and with it comes cold and flu season. In order to make it through the cold months with as few sick days as possible, here are some tips to keep your body healthy and strong.
First, in order to stay healthy, you need to eat healthy. Keeping your diet full of healthy foods will bolster your body’s immune system.
Stay healthy by eating these fruits regularly:
● Blackberries are a great source of antioxidants, vitamin K and omega-3s.
● Raspberries are also full of antioxidants, which are needed to fight off free radicals. Extremely rich in vitamin C and omega-3s.
● Guava is an excellent source of B vitamins.
● Only 100 grams of strawberries contain 98% of the recommended daily value of vitamin C
● Cranberries are another great source of vitamin C and antioxidants.
Vegetables contain vitamins and minerals that are crucial to maintaining a healthy body, especially vitamin K, vitamin C, potassium and fiber. For a healthy diet, these vegetables need to be included.
● Kale contains astronomical amounts of vitamins A, C, and K, B6, and bone-healthy calcium.
● Spinach is rich in vitamin A, lutein, vitamin C, vitamin E, vitamin K, magnesium, manganese, folate, iron, vitamin B2, calcium, potassium, vitamin B6, folic acid, protein (which is rare in a leafy green!), phosphorus, zinc, niacin, selenium and omega-3 fatty acids which are vital for brain health.
● Collard Greens are packed with Vitamin K, lutein, Vitamin C, potassium, and fiber. While Collard Greens are nutrient rich, they are also weight-loss friendly.
One serving contains a measly twenty calories.
● ‘Tis the season for all things pumpkin, and for good reason too! Pumpkin is extremely high in Vitamin K, Vitamin C, potassium, as well as being very fibrous.
● Sweet Potato: Don’t peel this fiber filled tuber! The skin contains a large amount of vitamin C. The rest of the potato includes ample amounts of potassium, fiber, vitamins, and magnesium.
These two whole Grains are also key to staying healthy:
● Quinoa is the only grain that is a complete protein, full of amino acids and omega-3s.
● Brown Rice is better than white rice that has the outer hull removed, because the outer hull is what contains all the grain’s antioxidants, magnesium, phosphorus, and B vitamins.
As far as meat goes, the healthiest meat for one to consume isn’t one particular kind of meat. The cut of the meat is most important. Whatever meat you eat, make sure it is the leanest possible cut.
Many people eat healthy but neglect the physical activities that can help keep a body healthy. It’s simple enough to add a little extra activity into a day by following these tips.
● Take the stairs instead of the elevator.
● When walking, keep a brisk pace. Leisurely walking does not have the same effect on your body.
● Park in the back. Let’s face it, when it’s time for Christmas shopping, you’ll likely be walking from the back of the parking lot anyway. Keep up the habit
even after January 1st!
● Sign up for a class. Sometimes a scheduled time to go exercise, as well as being around others is all a person needs to keep exercise part of their routine.
● Keep track of time spent exercising. Once you see how much exercise you’ve accomplished, you’ll be more motivated to continue with it.
● Cut down on screen time. The less time spent in front of a screen, the less sedentary you’ll become. Start cutting screen time back in 30 minute increments. You might find you don’t miss it!
Eating well and keeping active are great ways to stay healthy, but don’t forget there are some things you shouldn’t do if you want to avoid getting sick.
● Processed foods make your body work harder to break them down, having a negative impact on your immune system.
● Sugar is not only bad for long-term health, but it suppresses your immune system as well. Do your best to avoid over-indulging in holiday sweets.
● Drinking too much alcohol can dehydrate your body and in turn sabotage your immune system. Enjoying a glass of wine here and there isn’t a problem, but
heavy alcohol use should be avoided.
● Nothing weakens an immune system like stress. Make sure you plan ahead and avoid putting yourself in situations that stress you out.
● Make sure you get enough sleep. Not getting enough rest can run you down and make your body susceptible to illness.
Follow the above tips and avoid being sick all winter.