It’s been quite a while since I’ve written a blog post, and I am very sorry for that. I feel like, after the holidays, I thought things would slow down, and I’d have some time to get my sh*t together for my website…LOL. So here I am, trying to take my own advice and re-put-together my routines, my good habits, meal prepping, etc. It turns out, the beginning of the year is tough! Regardless, though, the new year has felt very refreshing for me. I know that ~nothing really~ changed, but for some reason starting a new decade felt like a real chance for me to start fresh and really dive into my goals.
As I mentioned, for me, this year has been great so far. Let’s be real though, the beginning of this year for the WORLD, has been tough as hell. Fires in Australia, the loss of the Bryants and their fellow passengers, the impeachment process as a whole, and lastly coronavirus. Fear has really taken over, especially for the coronavirus. It is totally fair to fear it, in my opinion. I was just at the airport this week and was definitely sketched out by touching literally anything. On the other hand, though studies show that the flu is actually more of a threat to the US at the moment. While it feels like there’s not a lot that can be done, I’ve pulled together some research to prove just the opposite. It is flu season, and yes there will be people going around with it or carrying it and you might just get it. BUT, below are some precautionary measures you can take to keep your immunity high and fend off sickness as much as possible during flu season. Also, if you have anything you’d like to add to my list, please email me and let me know. I’d love to add to this. J
- Drink lots of water.
- Eat your fruits and veggies.
I mean, just look at the popular phrase that’s going around right now – “Food is medicine.” Ok, fine, Hippocrates said this first, but I think it’s a good reminder and one that’s being shared quite often on social media and around my health coach classmates. Fruits and vegetables contain certain vitamins, minerals, and antioxidant properties that keep you healthy by aiding your body in regulating your immunity. To make this as helpful as possible for you, I’ve found some of the best vitamins, minerals, etc. to boost immunity, as well as the foods that contain them1. Please note to always consult your doctor before adding a new supplement/vitamin to your routine as some are only necessary in small quantities.
- Vitamin E
- Sunflower seeds, almonds, wheat germ, vegetable oils, peanuts, spinach, and avocado
- Vitamin B6
- Liver, chicken, salmon, potatoes, avocado, wheat bran, chickpeas, navy beans, pistachios, walnuts
- Asparagus, edamame, spinach, okra, broccoli, lettuce, avocado, turnip greens, liver, black-eyed peas
- Vitamin C
- Citrus fruits, red pepper, broccoli, brussel sprouts, potatoes, cranberries, strawberries, cauliflower
- Brazil nuts, mushrooms, couscous, yogurt, cottage cheese, eggs, tofu, chia seeds, oysters, salmon, sardines, crab, chicken, pork, beef
- Cashews, sunflower seeds, oysters, pumpkin seeds, beef, chickpeas, cocoa, crab, lobster
- Work out regularly.
If working out for an hour each day isn’t your thing, even just 20-30 minutes of moderate exercise is recommended. Harvard found that exercise promotes good circulation, allowing the immune system to move more freely and efficiently through the body.
- Mitigate stress.
When the body experiences high and continuous stress, it remains on high alert. The extended-release of stress hormones can lower the body’s immunity defense and make you more susceptible to illness.32
It’s important to know how to go from “fight or flight” to “rest and digest”:
- Practice calming activities like meditation or yoga
- Organize your space
- Plan your schedule
- Prioritize and delegate tasks
- Get enough sleep.
The body is more susceptible to stress without a good night’s sleep. The immune system doesn’t function optimally, and inflammatory proteins, and blood sugar levels increase in response to lower levels of insulin being released throughout the night3. The average adult needs ~7-9 hours of sleep per night. I also think it’s important to note that you can’t “make up for” a lack of sleep from the previous night. The University of Colorado conducted a study last year confirming “catching up” on sleep on the weekends doesn’t actually work.
- Wash your hands often, and don’t touch your face.
- And of course… get your flu shot!
1 | Medeiros, D. M. & Wildman, R. E. C. (2015). Advanced human nutrition (3rd ed.). Burlington, MA: Jones & Bartlett Learning.
2 | Rice, V. (Ed.). (2012). Handbook of stress, coping, and health (2nd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications, Inc.
3 | Itani, O., Jike, M., Watanabe, N., & Kaneita, Y. (2016). Short sleep duration and health outcomes: A systematic review, meta-analysis, and metaregression. Sleep Med 32, 246–256. Retrieved from www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27743803