It’s that time of year again, when people are most likely to get the flu, or come down with the cold. Getting sick can result in you potentially losing wages, missing time from school, and having decreased  productivity at work, not to mention how having a cold or the flu can make you feel miserable. This winter, why not prepare yourself – and your immune system – by taking these preventative measures to potentially keep you healthy and safe during this cold and flu season. Livingwell Care Navigation, a professional patient advocate company, recommends the following:

  • Drink lots of fluids:  It is important to keep your body hydrated, especially during this season. You can get fluids by drinking filtered water. In addition, be sure to consume soups and broths – the best ones for you should be made from scratch, with fresh vegetables. You should also make a habit of drinking herbal teas, such as echinacea and ginger teas, every day.
  • Stay away from simple sugars: While drinking fluids is important, don’t drink fruit juices or sweetened drinks.  Also do not consume things like sweet treats, as well as grain products that your body turns into sugar. The reason is that, according to studies, sugars can suppress your body’s immune system.
  • Taste the rainbow of fruits and vegetables: That means eating things like leafy greens, peppers, sweet potatoes, fruits, and cruciferous vegetables. These items contain Vitamins A and C, as well as phytonutrients. You should try to eat at least four servings a day of vegetables, and between three to four servings of fruit.
  • Get spicy:  That means eating things like onions, ginger and garlic, as well as spices such as turmeric and oregano.  Ginger can boost your immune system, spices are anti-inflammatory and onions and garlic have antimicrobial properties.
  • Eat lean protein with every meal: Protein helps build your body, which includes your body’s immune system, as well as its detoxification system.  It is critical to eat protein with every meal, and even every snack. Look for animal-based and plant-based proteins.
  • Take supplements to support your immune system: It is important to take things like Vitamin D3, zinc citrate, buffered Vitamin C, probiotics, fish oil, and other supplements to build up your immune system at this time of year. For more information, please visit Livingwell Care Navigation to learn which supplements you should take during cold and flu season.