Edwards-Haines: Preparing for the flu season

If you’ve been conscientious about helping your immune system be as healthy as possible … then you're ready to combat the flu.

Have you had your flu shot yet?

That’s the question on everyone’s lips this time of year. The question I’d prefer to ask, however, is this: How is your immune system? Why?

Because if you’ve been conscientious about helping your immune system be as healthy as possible throughout the rest of the year, when flu season comes around, you’ll be ready for combat.

Here are a few ways you can give your system the boost it needs.

First, you absolutely must be eating healthy. In particular, I’m talking lots of plant-based foods that are going to lend you their powerful, disease-repelling properties as soon as you bite into them.

Succulent, brightly hued fruits such as pomegranates, oranges, and persimmons. Earthy, deeply coloured vegetables like kale, yams  and broccoli. Assorted fibre- and mineral-rich beans like lentils, kidney beans  and black beans.

Follow those up with whole grains and delicious, good-fat seeds and nuts. These foods are filled to the brim with big words like antioxidants and phytochemicals to help your immune system fight off the undesirables.

When it comes to every day eating, be sure to skip the processed foods. And absolutely put a cap on the sinfully good, fatty, sugary stuff.

With the holiday season looming, you’ll be tempted with all the cookie exchanges, yuletide parties, and holiday treats. Your body will thank you, though, for not indulging in too much of the sweet stuff. As well, be sure to drink plenty of water every day.

Next, your body is going to love you if you give it all the physical activity it craves.

One doctor has said that if he had only one prescription to write, it would be to exercise. Go figure!

To get yourself started, something simple such as walking will get your blood pumping, your endorphins jumping, and will give your body that extra boost it needs to safeguard you from unwanted flu bugs.

A few other things to consider in fighting off the flu bug—wash your hands frequently throughout the day and get seven to eight quality hours of sleep a night.

But  if you do feel like you’re coming down with something, try drinking my favourite get-well garlic and ginger tea. It’s so easy to make.

Boil two cloves of peeled garlic with a small knob of fresh ginger in two cups of water for around 10 minutes. Cool and drink, and make more as needed.

While I did mention going easy on the sugary stuff, I’ve got some enticing news about holiday sweets.

On Wednesday, Dec.10, I’m teaching a hands-on “Decadent Raw Desserts” class, 6:30 p.m., at the Kelowna Lifestyle Centre.

It’s going to be scrumptiously healthy. Picture this—carrot cake, banana cream pie, maple/cinnamon apple torte. All raw, and all totally good for you. Interested? Call 250-864-0450 to register for this $34 class. Cheers to enjoying great health!


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