It’s that time of year again – pumpkin-flavored everything, soon to be followed by peppermint-flavored everything! But along with the hustle and bustle of the holidays comes colder temperatures and cold and flu season.
Here are a few simple techniques recommended by experts to keep yourself healthy and help keep your body ready to fight off any nasty germs that may come your way.1-5
Wash your hands frequently. Washing your hands is a great prevention method from getting sick. Also, try to keep your hands away from your face since the mouth and nose are entry points for bacteria and viruses.
Feed your immune system. Your immune system has many moving parts that require a wide variety of nutrients to work effectively to protect your body from getting sick. Be sure to stock your grocery cart with foods that provide your body with vitamins and minerals to help support a healthy immune system. Choose a variety of nutrient-dense foods such as whole grains, fruits and vegetables, nuts and seeds, low-fat or fat-free dairy, 100% juice and lean sources of protein. Check out ChooseMyPlate.gov for ideas and make sure at least half your plate is fruits and vegetables.
Eat a healthy and balanced diet. Instead of starting the day with cereal or a pastry high in added sugars, get a jumpstart on your nutrients with oatmeal paired with an 8-ounce glass of Florida Orange Juice. Not only does Florida OJ taste great, it counts toward your fruit intake, is an excellent source of vitamin C and a good source of potassium, folate, and thiamin – nutrients that can help build a healthy immune system.
Stay Hydrated. Instead of beverages with added sugars, opt instead for water, low-fat or fat-free milk, and 100% orange juice.
Get a Flu Shot. Flu shots are effective at preventing certain types of the flu.3 As always, talk with your doctor first before making any medical decisions.
- Is It a Cold or the Flu? Prevention, Symptoms, Treatments. US FDA. https://www.fda.gov/ForConsumers/ConsumerUpdates/ucm092805.htm
- Common Colds: Protect Yourself and Others. US. CDC. https://www.cdc.gov/features/rhinoviruses/index.html
- Preventing the Flu: Good Health Habits Can Help Stop Germs. US CDC. https://www.cdc.gov/flu/protect/habits/index.htm
- How to Keep Your Immune System Healthy. Eat Right. Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Sept 2018. https://www.eatright.org/health/wellness/preventing-illness/how-to-keep-your-immune-system-healthy
- Katona P, Katona-Apte J. The Interaction between Nutrition and Infection. Clinical Infectious Diseases. 2008;46(10):1582-1588.