Unless you’re a hermit on a remote island, you may be exposed to cold and flu viruses during fall and winter. To deflect the worst contagions this cold and flu season, you can build up your immune defenses with good nutrition, a healthy lifestyle, and strategic supplements.
Eat Fruits and Vegetables
Indulging in sweets and processed foods drags down your immune system. Packing your meals with fruits and vegetables keeps your body strong with a steady supply of vitamins and antioxidants. Empower your immune system with healthy foods like:
Go With Your Gut
The bacteria inside your digestive system plays a vital role in nutrient absorption. Nutrition researchers now estimate that 70 percent of immune function arises in the gut.
Improve your resistance to colds or flu by nurturing beneficial bacteria in your gut. Probiotic supplements can directly enhance your digestive flora, but a diet that includes fermented foods, like kimchi, kefir, or unpasteurized sauerkraut, increases immunity as well.
Sleep and Exercise
Sleep deprivation makes your immune system tired too. Make it a priority to get seven hours or more sleep. Go to bed early if you feel a virus taking hold.
Staying active during the colder months could also fend off viral infections. Exercise enlivens your immune function, and people who get regular exercise report fewer colds.
Tea and Supplements
Hot tea soothes a scratchy throat or drippy nose. Green tea and turmeric and ginger tea impart many antioxidants. Green tea specifically contains the immune system booster catechin. Unsweetened elderberry extract is another supplement with antiviral properties.
You might choose to increase your dosages of vitamins C and D with capsule supplements. Look for buffered vitamin C tablets that include magnesium, potassium, and calcium because you might be low on those nutrients. Vitamin D supplements also support health during dark winter months. Research has associated vitamin D supplementation with the prevention of colds.
Famous Foods in Vancouver is a source of many nutritious foods to keep you healthy during the cold season. Also be sure to visit our vitamin and supplement section for natural cold remedies!
Packing a healthy lunch for kids or adults on-the-go requires a bit of ingenuity. This is not just in the food served. It is also in how it is presented. Consider purchasing a lunch box or case that has individual compartments, similar to a bento box. Otherwise, use snack-size sealable baggies to separate items.
When shopping for lunch, head for the produce, deli and dairy sections of the market first. Then, make your way into the bulk foods and bread sections. Lastly, hit the aisle with the packaged healthy snack options and cereals. The goal is to have a good variety of fruits, vegetables, protein, dairy, and carbohydrates.
Here are a few ideas to inspire your packed lunches:
Pasta Salad with Grilled Chicken
A salad, made with gluten-free pasta, chopped tomatoes and avocado, then sprinkled with olive oil, and feta from our deli section, offers a good balance of protein and carbohydrates. Filling and healthy, it provides ample fuel for your afternoon.
Banh Mi Sandwich
A Vietnamese Banh Mi sandwich is packed with veggies, pickles, and protein for a well-rounded meal. Use a slim, whole grain baguette for the bread. Then layer the sandwich with mustard or mayonnaise, lacto-fermented pickled vegetables and fresh herbs, thinly sliced roast beef or turkey, thin tomato slices, lettuce, and more mustard or mayonnaise. You can find more Banh Mi ideas here.
It’s always a good idea to have a few snacks on hand to keep you going between classes or meetings. Easy-to-pack foods include:
Many of these items can be purchased at Famous Foods in Vancouver which aims to meet all of your grocery needs, including the natural and organic items on your shopping list.
As summer draws to a close in Vancouver, school days shift schedules into high gear for adults and children. To maintain your energy, mental focus, and immune system, build a strategy for success with these five lifestyle tips.
Limit your sugar intake. Reliance on sweet snacks and sugary drinks fills you with empty calories and puts your mood and focus on a roller coaster of highs and lows. Choose water instead of juice, soft drinks, or sports drinks.
Make fibre and protein a priority at all meals, including breakfast. Whole-grain unsweetened cereals, yogurt, eggs, and fresh fruit provide protein, fibre, and nutrients. Chicken, fish, and beans represent lean sources of protein at other meals.
Fight off the temptation of fast food during hectic days by stocking up on healthy foods. Load your lunch bag or dorm refrigerator with Greek yogurt, nuts, unsweetened whole grain foods, roasted edamame or chickpeas, carrots with hummus dip and whole fruits.
Meditation cleanses the brain of mental clutter. Even a few minutes of focused breathing or silent mantra recitation will renew your mental state, and regular meditation counteracts stress and anxiety.
Sleep is vital for brain health. You need to get enough rest every night to achieve peak performance and maintain a stable mood. Avoid screen time prior to bed and try to go to sleep at the same time every night.
As the school year slips into fall and winter, resist the couch and stay focused on exercise. Easy ways to boost your energy level include taking the stairs, walking or biking, joining a sports team, walking group, or taking an exercise class such as yoga or Pilates.
Even miniature activity breaks in the middle of long study sessions contribute to your wellness. Get up every 20 or 30 minutes and walk or stretch for a couple minutes.
Investments in relationships will increase your sense of connection and emotional resilience. Pursue activities with your friends or family every week. Organize a game night, take a walk in the park, or simply spend some time chatting.
The mindful management of your lifestyle will quickly produce benefits. Based in Vancouver, Famous Foods specializes in natural and organic health foods, many of which are available in bulk. This school year, make shopping at Famous Foods a regular assignment.
Open 8am to 9pm – 7 days a week!