Well everyone, it’s that time of year already, temperatures are beginning to drop. And as we’re all driven indoors, to avoid what is sure to be another polar vortex/snowpocalypse hybrid, we’re also forced to be in close quarters with one another. Whether you’re in a classroom, office, or grocery store, you’re destined to be near someone who has the nefarious wintertime “common cold.” We know them all too well. You notice them coughing and sneezing wherever you go. Chances are, if you’re around one of these cold victims long or often enough, you’re likely to catch it too.
How can you avoid the common cold?
So what can we do to make this winter a little less miserable? Along with washing your hands frequently and avoiding getting coughed on by some guy in the elevator, the answer is this: strengthen your immune system. We can protect and strengthen our immune system by trying to eat foods rich in vitamins and proteins. Listed below are some of the most commonly recommended immunity boosting foods.
Fruits are all full of different vitamins and antioxidants, which translates to a stronger immune system. If you notice your cubicle partner coughing a lot, or people in your office seem to be dropping like flies, start eating fruit like it’s your job. Bring a fruit as a snack, and try to incorporate one of these vitamin powerhouses into at least one of your daily meals.
- Oranges and clementines: As far as strengthening your immune system is concerned, oranges are best. They’re full of vitamin C – which is beneficial in preventing colds, as well as reducing the length of your cold.
- Grapefruit/kiwi/papaya: All three of these fruits contain large amounts of vitamin C and other useful nutrients. And of course, they can brighten up even the most mundane midday snack or make breakfast a little more colorful.
Probably one of the most neglected elements of the food pyramid, vegetables play a crucial role in helping to defend and strengthen our immune systems.
- Broccoli: This superstar contains nearly all our daily vitamin C needs. Along with immune system protection, broccoli has a lot of other long term health benefits, so make sure you’re eating this even when you’re not trying to avoid a cold!
- Carrots: Don’t overlook this vegetable; carrots are made up of everything that our bodies need to be healthy and work properly.
Proteins are crucial in helping clear viruses out of the body. Similarly, it helps prevent viruses from entering the body and reduces the risk of getting sick.
- Roast beef: If you usually go for the turkey or chicken, try this lunch meat next time you order a sandwich. Roast beef is full of zinc, which helps your immune system function and can prevent the growth of bacteria and viruses throughout the body.
- Tuna/salmon: These fish are loaded with omega 3’s, vitamin D and glutamine, an amino acid that helps your immune system run more efficiently.
By making sure your diet is jam packed with the above foods, you’ll significantly reduce your risk of getting sick this cold and flu season. Do you have any other tips for escaping the winter months without getting sick? Please leave a comment!