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How Not to Get Sick This Winter

By on March 12, 2020
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Place your bets! How long until the first cold hits your house? A week? A month? There’s no need to take the risk – here’s your guide to how not to get sick this winter.

Vitamins, Minerals & Antioxidants – “The Multi”
Do you really want to gamble about whether you’ll be well enough to get through a downward dog without your nose dripping on your mat? Whether it’s at work or home (particularly if you have kids) your body encounters many viruses each day. Making sure one of those viruses doesn’t turn your nose into a mucus manufacturing operation can as simple as keeping your immune system strong.

Vitamin D is one of a handful of vitamins (like Vitamin C) that we absolutely need to keep our immune systems in tip-top shape. A 2017 McMaster University study found 78% of Canadians who thought they were getting enough vitamin D were not.

Do my kids need a supplement? Some do. It’s easy for your diet to lack certain nutrients when you consider your dietary preferences (dislikes), intolerances (nut allergies), or special diet (vegetarian). A multivitamin can improve your intake of essential vitamins and minerals. Many essential nutrients act as antioxidants. You want lots of these – antioxidants protect your body from free radicals that cause damage and inflammation. Yes, my friends antioxidants help your immune system fight viruses (…and, those puffy eyes, sore joints and wrinkles too!).

Probiotic Rescue
This year, fight bugs with bugs. “Hiya!” Send in probiotics to the rescue. (Yes, feel free to insert a mental image of a little bacteria with mask and flying superhero). Wage war against those invisible microbes that are crawling all over door handles. Fight them before they make noses drip and muscles ache. There are many types of probiotics, each with a unique set of health benefits for your body. There’s even been studies showing a few Bifidobacteria strains can reduce the duration of upper respiratory tract illness in physically active adults.

Where can you find probiotics to help you NOT get sick this winter? You’re in luck as Health Canada puts health claims on the probiotic products to help you get these super-powered, immune boostering microbes working to keep you healthy. “POW! HIGH-YA! BOOM!…take that you nasty cold bugs.”

Greens n’ Protein
“Eat leafy greens,” you’ve been told. But, sometimes life gets busy, and despite our best intentions we don’t. Greens are great supporters of our immune system. One of the easiest ways to eat more leafy greens is to make a big salad – than divide it into portions (some for dinner, and put others into containers for lunch tomorrow). Don’t dress them yet though – no one likes soggy lettuce. Instead, use a small mason jar to create easy at home salad dressings for easy lunch box packing. Not a fan of lettuce? There are greens powders you can hide in a smoothie. Frozen or fresh spinach and kale are great in a blender with frozen mango or peach to make a delicious smoothie.

Protein is a master of curbing cravings – your fork will be less likely to stray away from your healthy plate and towards those distracting sugary foods that aren’t helping you fight off that common cold your kid just planted on your lips. The easiest way to sneak more protein into your day is with a delicious mason jar filled with your favourite nuts and seeds – a perfect snack for at your desk too!

Refreshing Lemon & Tahini Salad Dressing

½ cup water
½ cup raw tahini paste
Juice from 1 organic lemon
1 large (or 2 medium) garlic clove, minced
1 tsp maple syrup
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
½ tsp tamari sauce
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp coriander
2 tbsp olive oil

Combine all ingredients in a blender and mix until smooth. Stores in the fridge for about a week.

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Allison Tannis, MSc RHN is deliciously geeky! Find more great reads by this acclaimed Canadian health author at www.allisontannis.com. Or, for a daily serving of hilariously helpful tips follow her @deliciouslygeeky on Instagram or Facebook.