5 Diet Hacks For Staying Healthy This Winter

Five Ways To Boost Your Immune System

While there’s no easy way to prevent the onset Covid-19 (other than perhaps the coming vaccines and staying away from people), there are ways to improve our overall immune systems. I’m a big believer in maintaining a healthy diet filled with plenty of vitamins, antioxidants, protein, water and all around good stuff. As we head into the cold winter months, boosting our own natural immunities will be important to every one of us. And, while vitamins are a wonderful supplement, I like to start with the basics–fortifying myself with healthy foods rich in nutrients.

Here are five ideas to get you started:

1. Consume Plenty of Vitamin C

Oranges Great Source of Vitamin C (Courtesy: Trish Regan)

Vitamin C is said to be helpful in creating antibodies to help ward off a winter cold. Oranges are my favorite source of vitamin C. Citrus fruits including grapefruit, tangerines, clementines, lemons and limes are rich in vitamin C and are believed to aid in the production of white blood cells, which are critical to fighting infection. Strawberries, red bell peppers are all great alternatives, as well. It’s typically recommended women seek out 75 mg of vitamin C daily and 90 mg for men.

2. Eat Protein

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Protein is a great place to find certain amino acids that are considered essential for T-cell function. T cells are an important part of protecting ourselves against pathogens — so eat up!. Fish is a wonderful source of protein (my favorite is salmon which you can dust with sesame seeds like you see above) and meats, poultry, eggs, beans, and nuts are all good alternatives. By eating regular sources of protein, you can help regulate your body’s immune response.

3. Don’t Forget Vitamin D

Vitamin D is critical to our immune systems and is even believed to boost our body’s natural defenses against diseases while increasing our bone density. It’s also believed to be helpful in reducing negative outcomes associated with COVID-19. One great source of Vitamin D is the sun itself. But, for those of us bracing for a Northeastern winter, a tasty source of the vitamin comes from milk, cheese, and yogurt. And, for a triple boost of vitamin C, vitamin D, and protein.

4. Antioxidants Are A Must 

Antioxidants help protect our cells against free radicals, which may play a role in heart disease and certain kinds of cancers. Blueberries are considered the best source and are some of my most favorite fruits!

5. Drink Mineral Water 

This is important. I know everyone says “drink 8 glasses of water a day” and you should… but, try to work some mineral water into that rotation, as well! If you can manage to drink a water packed with nutrients? You’ll be that much ahead of the game! I like Gerolsteiner water which is expensive but, nonetheless, unrivaled in terms of the mineral content it serves up. It has more than double the calcium count of rival brands (348 mg) and is loaded with potassium, as well. That’s rather rare for a glass of water. For an extra dose of Vitamin C, serve it up with a twist of lemon!

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