Some foods can help you stay healthy through cold and flu season
LONDON, Ont. -- With cold and flu season getting ready to be in full swing, do you know what foods are immune boosters?
Pass the orange juice, or maybe not? According to a new survey conducted by Loblaws dieticians around 70 per cent of Canadians turn to orange juice as a source of vitamin C
“It’s a misconception that oranges are the only and most significant source of vitamin C,” says Tanya Hill.
In fact, the dietician says when it comes to orange juice, it doesn’t contain as many nutrients as you'd expect and is full of concentrated sugar.
“So believe it or not colourful bell peppers like orange, yellow and red ones have an excellent source of vitamin C, so it’s not all about oranges.”
In addition to getting vitamin C, Hill says there are several other very important nutrients to keep in mind when it comes to boosting the immune system.
“Nutrients like zinc and vitamin A and probiotics have been directly linked with improving our immune system function.”
As easy as it is to pop a pill containing these nutrients, Hill says getting it straight from the whole food source is actually more beneficial.
“Probiotic yogurts for example if you’re eating that whole food not only are you getting that beneficial probiotic you’re also getting calcium and protein and that’s why it’s really important to have the whole food and get all the benefits you can get.”
We’ve all heard the saying an apple a day keeps the doctor away, well it’s not just a saying, apples top the list as an immune boosting and flu food hero.
“Especially if you eat the skin. That’s really important because a lot of the nutrients lay beneath the skin.”
Hill says it’s also important to keep up good hand hygiene during cold and flu season.
Dr. Alex Summer from the Middlesex London Health Unit adds the best way - hands down - to prevent the flu is to roll up your sleeve and get the flu shot.
“Influenza vaccine in particular remains the most effective way of protecting yourself from the influenza virus which can kill.”