Here we are. It’s January and we are at the height of cold and flu season. Not fun! In my house, it feels like someone has a new sniffle or cough every week! So, how do we ward off illness and prevent colds and flu during these long winter months?
The traditional everything-your-mother-told-you advice – wash your hands, get plenty of rest, drink lots of fluids – is helpful but what you might not know is that there are easy and delicious ways to prevent illness and recover from colds through the foods you eat.
In particular, certain nutrients can boost our immune systems making us less likely to fall ill and better equipped to fight off illness if we do catch something. Here’s a breakdown of some important immune-building nutrients and some healthy and delicious ways to enjoy them!
- Zinc—Gerbs takes great pride in having found its beginnings through our delicious roasted pumpkin seeds. Pumpkin seeds are a fantastic source of plenty of vitamins and minerals. In particular, they contain tons of Zinc. This mineral is indispensable in maintaining strong immunity, as well as in healing and recovery. Enjoying a one-ounce serving of pumpkin seeds, provides nearly 29% of your daily Zinc needs.
- Vitamin A—Vitamin A is found in meat and is fortified in many dairy products. There are some plant sources that are allergy and vegan-friendly though, including orange and red fruits and vegetables. Try our no sugar added dried apricots as a great source.
- Vitamin B6—This vitamin can be difficult to find in our diets when avoiding dairy and eggs. It is primarily found in animal products. One other place to find it, though, is in seeds; this is especially true of sunflower seeds. On our site we carry a variety of sunflower and pumpkin seed mixes. Try the lightly salted bag for extra flavor, as well as a bonus immune-boosting mineral: Iodine.
- Vitamin C—Rather than taking an Emergen-C when you feel a cold coming on, ward it off by eating plenty of Vitamin C year-round through citrus fruits and berries. Our Super-5 dried fruit mix is a perfect way to enjoy multiple tasty sources of Vitamin C in one convenient snack.
- Vitamin E—Commonly found in plant oils, this vitamin and antioxidant is abundant in nuts and seeds. If you’re looking for a sweet way to nosh on this vitamin, our dried papaya strips should be a satisfying choice.
- Selenium—Guarding one’s immune system is a 24-hour job. Get plenty of sleep then enjoy a hearty bowl of oatmeal for breakfast. Oats are a fantastic source of selenium, a mineral that is essential for optimal immunity. Doesn’t a bowl of warm oatmeal hit the spot on cold mornings?!
We would love to hear your tricks to prevent colds (or make sure they don’t linger!)- please share in the comments or on our Facebook page!
We wish you a happy, HEALTHY winter! Stay warm!