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Getting Through Cold and Flu Season

By Cassie Dimmick, MS, RD, CSSD

Staying healthy during cold and flu season is hard to do, but focusing on a few key things can help you stay as healthy as possible this year!

1. Get plenty of sleep (7-8 hours a night) it can help you stay rested and prevent your body from getting sick and heal faster if you are sick
2. Wash your hands (make sure you wash your hands with soap and water after traveling, going in public, at the gym, and before you eat)
3. Eat healthy foods (fruits and veggies and balanced meals through the day to make sure you are getting plenty of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory foods)
4. Exercise (keeps you feeling energetic and improves your immune system)
5. Get some fresh air (enjoy fresh air even if it is cold outside)
6. Stay hydrated (drinking water with lemon is a great option!)

Nutrients and foods that may help prevent or shorten colds, and can help with symptom relief:

1. Ginger (antiviral, antioxidant, helps nausea)
2. Garlic (anti-bacterial properties)
3. Vitamin C (antioxidant found in fruits and veggies)
4. Zinc (regulates immunity and found in meat, spinach, pumpkin seeds, cashews, flax seed, chickpeas, and cocoa powder)
5. Licorice (antiviral and anti-inflammatory properties)
6. Sage (antiseptic and antibacterial properties)
7. Peppermint (expectorant, headache relief)
8. Cinnamon (helps nausea)
9. Lemon (antioxidant vitamin C)
10. Probiotics can help build a healthy immune system through your gut (Kombucha, fermented foods, and quality probiotics like Garden of Life brand)
11. Chicken noodle soup or other broth based soups (expectorant and anti-inflammatory properties)

Recipes for Cold Season

Throat Relief Tea Recipe:
1 c. Hot water
1 Tbsp fresh sage
1/2 Tbsp honey
1 Tbsp aple cider vinegar
1 Tbsp lemon juice
Mix well and let sit until water is cooled to Luke warm. Strain sage and drink or gargle as needed.

Cold Fighting Smoothie:

1 c yogurt with active cultures (regular or dairy free)
1 c. Strawberries
1 c. Spinach
1 Tbsp flax seed
Dash cinnamon
1/2 Tbsp cocoa powder
Mix in a blender until well blended

Cold Fighting Juice

1 lemon
3 c. Spinach
1 inch piece fresh ginger
1 bunch parsley
1 kiwi
2 carrots
1 cucumber
Juice and enjoy!

There is no cure for viruses, but by focusing on eating healthy foods and resting, you can do your best to feel better!

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