Tips for Cold & Flu Prevention

Flu season is here but who wants to be sick when there is tons of work to be done before Christmas. Shopping to be done, cookies to be baked and cards to be written. So is there anything  you can do to make sure the cold & flu bug doesn’t get you.  One thing is for sure, a well nourished immune system is your best friend in the fight against cold & flu. So what can you do to make sure your immune system has all that it needs to attack the critters who decide to call your body home during the Christmas season?  Here are a few tips:


  • Get plenty of rest.  As difficult as it may be at this time of the year when there is so much to do, it’s the best thing for your immune system so try to set a fixed time for sleep and stick to it.
  • Relax and de-stress.  Stress hormones can cause havoc on our immune system and remember stress is not the situation itself but how we react to the incident.  Find ways to de-stress that work for you, it could be deep breathing, walk or even a nap.
  • Get regular exercise even if it is just a 20 minute walk or lifting some weights while watching TV.  Exercise is essential for boosting our immune health.
  • Eat lots of fruits and vegetables especially those high in vitamin A and C.  Orange colored root vegetables are high in vitamin A and citrus fruits as well as kiwis are high in vitamin C.
  • Ensure an adequate amount of protein intake. Proteins are the building blocks of antibodies which are essential bug fighting elements of our body.  Nuts & seeds especially hemp seeds are very high in proteins and can be easily incorporated into your diet.
  • Keep the intake of sugars to a minimum.  They are known to decrease the immune response.
  • Keep alcohol to a minimum as it is hard on the liver and we need our liver in the fight against the bugs.

What if despite your best effort, you still find yourself coming down with something.  In order to speed up recovery, you can consider high dose vitamin C, zinc lozenges, cold fx or Echinacea taken at the first sign of a cold but make sure you speak to your pharmacist before purchasing any supplements to ensure that they don’t interact with your medications.


By: Aziza Amarshi, RPh, RHN