FuelED® with Jared
Unfortunately the cold and flu season is here. Not feeling well can mean missing work, missing school, or worse—missing spin class. Here are some tips on preventing the cold and staying healthy with nutrition.
I don’t find the research convincing in regards to, “let’s drink 2000% of Vitamin C to cure my cold.” It seems that taking excessive supplemental vitamin C while you are sick is not helpful for curing the common cold. However, making sure to get adequate vitamin C from fruits and vegetables is a good way to prevent a cold, as it is important in immune cell function and skin maintenance. The RDA (recommended daily allowance) for vitamin C is 75-90 mg/day. You can get vitamin C pretty easily from fruits and vegetables:
- 1 cup broccoli has 74 mg
- 1/2 cup green pepper has 60 mg
- 1/2 cup red pepper has 95 mg and
- 1 kiwi has 70 mg
There are other nutrients that are important for a strong immune system also. Vitamin A helps produce mucous membranes and skin to keep the bugs out (abundant in carrots, sweet potatoes, kale, squash, apricots). Zinc is used for healthy skin and building strong immune cells (abundant in spinach, nuts/seeds, oysters, beans). Eat at least 5 servings of fruits and vegetables each day to decrease your odds of getting sick.
Also, probiotics are helpful for staying healthy. Probiotics are “good” bacteria that promote a healthy gut. You and I have 100 trillion or so microorganisms living in our GI tract.
Try to increase the good ones by eating probiotics from foods like kefir, yogurt, kimchi, and fermented tea, every day. I prefer kefir at breakfast and some Greek yogurt for an afternoon snack. Our immune systems are 75% gastrointestinal; so, a healthy gut equals a healthy body. Think about it: germs can get inside through a break in the skin, the nose, eyes, ears, or food you put in your mouth. So, besides making sure the food you are eating is safe, make sure your gut is healthy too.
To sum up, shoot for at least 5 servings of fruits/vegetables daily. Grab some probiotic foods to try if you haven’t yet—and don’t forget to wash your hands and wipe down your spin bikes.