While it feels like fall just started, cold and flu season is already around the corner. With 20% of Americans getting the flu and the average adult suffering from 2-3 colds each year, it’s always a good idea to get a head start on healthy habits. With this in mind, Kelly Springer, MS, RD, CDN, has shared with us her top tips to building an immune boosting routine that you should start now to strengthen the body’s natural defenses and stave off sniffles or scratchy throats.
Incorporate Manuka honey.
“70% of our immune system is in our gut, so it makes sense that keeping your gut happy is one of the best ways to keep your immune system strong. Try incorporating an authentic Manuka honey, like Wedderspoon’s Raw Monofloral Manuka Honey, into your daily diet. It’s a rare New Zealand superfood that is as delicious as it is powerful – chock full of nutrients that have been shown to empower everyday wellness, support better gut health and boost immunity to keep you feeling your best. Basically, it’s all of the good stuff and none of the bad. I swear by Manuka honey and try to have at least a little bit of it daily, whether it’s eating a spoonful in the morning, enjoying drops and pops on the go, or adding it to my tea before bed.”
Break a sweat.
“If you ask me, there’s no better way to enjoy the rest of the sunshine season than by getting out for a 20 to 30-minute walk. With an awesome playlist or a friend, this is a fun way to keep your body moving and it helps you feel great while getting a healthy dose of vitamin D. Did you know that some recent studies indicate moderate intensity exercise can actually cut down on the number of colds a person gets because it increases your white blood cells, which help fight infection? Beyond that, regular exercise also helps moderate inflammation and reduces stress, which helps keep your body’s defenses in good shape. If walking isn’t your thing, try biking a few times a week or going to the gym every other day.”
Hydrate like it’s your job.
“It’s no secret that staying hydrated is one of the best ways to maintain your overall health and wellbeing. Getting in your daily ounces helps keep skin clear, promotes digestion and can even help ward off cold and flu symptoms as it flushes the body of toxins. My favorite ways to get my water in every day include a big glass right when I wake up, as well as one with every meal. I also never leave home without a reusable bottle full of water so I can stay hydrated on-the-go.”
Rethink what’s on your plate.
“There are so many tasty dishes I love to serve my family to boost their immunity before and during cold and flu season. Favorites like oranges, Greek yogurt, wild salmon and dark chocolate have all been proven to help. For example, Greek yogurt contains probiotics that are known to fight illnesses and oranges are always a fantastic pick-me-up as they are packed full of vitamin C (which is helpful for preventing the cold especially if you find yourself in particularly cold-inducing situations). Looking for easy recipes including these delicious ingredients? My favorites are blood orange with Manuka honey and mascarpone spread and peaches and cream pops (made using Greek yogurt).”
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