Nutrition for Cold and Flu Prevention
Health Nutrition
Morgan Medeiros MSc
November 8, 2018

cold and flu preventionWith cold and flu season at our doorsteps, most of us are desperate to not catch the latest bug.

Clearly, no one enjoys being sick: between the aches, pains, cough, sniffles, sore throat, stuffy nose, nausea, and litany of other symptoms caused by seasonal bugs and viruses, sick days aren’t a vacation from work. They’re a lot of work in itself!

In an effort to help keep you well this cold and flu season, we’ve compiled a short list of tips to get you ahead of the game before the coughing, shivering, and sniffling of flu season makes its way to your office place.

Get Spicy

Capsaicin- the chemical in chiles that gives them their kick- has an antiinflammatory effect, easing the inflammation that leaves your immune system pushed to the brink and susceptible to invading bacteria and viruses.

Add a spicy kick to stir frys, soups, and eggs with red pepper flakes, salsa, or your favorite hot sauce.

Embrace Vampire Breath

Garlic contains allicin, an enzyme that can help increase immune function and fight active viruses.

Allicin is most potent prior to cooking, however: overcooking can inactive allicin entirely, so either add crushed garlic raw (careful- raw garlic is spicier than cooked!), or heat only very briefly for the most potent effect.

Become A Sugar Sleuth

The maximum recommended intake for added and refined sugars is 25g each day. The average American, however, consumes a whopping 88g, thanks to hidden sugars in even seemingly healthy foods and beverages.

Sugar reduces immune system function and increases inflammation: the perfect storm for high susceptibility to seasonal bugs.

Make a point of reading labels, using the 25g/day maximum as a guide. While most of us struggle to get anywhere close to that number, any reduction is a step in the right direction!

Be Supplement Smart

Steer clear of supplements and other home based homeopathic remedies, unless directly suggested by your doctor.

Remember that even natural supplements, herbs, and extracts can be dangerous, and many can and do interact with other supplements or medications in potentially dangerous ways.

Morgan Medeiros is a certified nutritionist, holding a both a Bachelor and Master’s Degree in Clinical Nutrition. Morgan completed her undergraduate education at Central Washington University, and her graduate education at Northeastern University. During her time as a graduate student, Morgan focused her area of expertise in health education, weight management, and behavioral change. Morgan has experience working in areas of nutritional neuroscience and disease prevention, obesity prevention, and weight loss. Morgan also works in areas of nutritional analysis and menu labeling for restaurants, where she is able to creatively bridge her interest in food culture and health education. In her free time, Morgan enjoys traveling, reading, writing, running, and spending time with her family and friends (including- most importantly- her dog, Clyde).

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