How to Eat to Fight off Colds and the Flu - Part II


I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday filled with laughter, delicious food and great company!  As we slowly get into our regular routine and plans for the New Year, talking about nutrition and food seems like the right place to start! 

With nutrition, balance is always key.  And while I fully endorse having a few of your favourite treats this time of year (or really anytime of the year), making sure you include healthy options is important. Your mood, gut and immune system will all thank you. Not to mention, going into the New Year healthy and energetic seems not only sensible but downright cool!

Part II of this blog focuses on specific minerals that help strengthen our immune system and keep germs where they belong (outside of our body).

Also, don’t miss out on some great meal and snack ideas at the end of the blog! Nothing better then putting theory into practice! 

Found in a variety of foods and helps strengthen the immune system. We only need a small amount everyday for good health. Good news is, most people get enough through their diet!


* excludes women who are pregnant or breastfeeding.
Do not take more than 40mg her day


* Think the size of two white erasers for cheese.


Acting like an antioxidant in the body, selenium helps keep the immune system working!



* Think of the size of a deck of cards for meat servings.

Putting Theory into Practice: Snack and Meal Ideas

Happy New Year! 

Keep those immune systems strong,
xo Lisa



How to Eat to Fight off Colds and the Flu - Part I


A well balanced diet is the key to staying healthy all year long. However, there are certain nutrients that may help prevent the cold/flu or decrease the symptoms we experience. Eating foods rich in these nutrients instead of taking a supplement will not only save you money but will provide you with other benefits such as meeting your fibre intake (i.e. from fruits, vegetables, whole grains) and other nutrients (i.e. calcium in yogurt, iron in pumpkin seeds).

Vitamin C
It may not help prevent a cold but can decrease the duration and severity of symptoms. Since this is a water-soluble vitamin, any amount in excess of what we need is lost in the urine!

RECOMMENDED INTAKE to fight colds:

Do not take more than 2000mg. This can lead to digestive problems and kidney stones.

Found in many fruits and vegetables.

Vitamin D
Keeps the immune system healthy!


Note: IU = international units (just how we measure vitamin D!)

Not found naturally in most food. Some foods have vitamin D added to it (i.e. milk).

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 *Think of the size of a deck of cards for meat servings.
** Take a look on the nutrition label, this amount can vary for yogurt.

This is one vitamin I do recommend taking a supplement, especially for those living in Canada where we have minimal sun exposure.

Staying hydrated helps moisten the lining the respiratory tract and prevents viruses from entering the body.


Wishing you and your families all the best and health this holiday season.
xo Lisa

p.s. Check out my blog on Tips for Staying Healthy this Season if you haven't had a chance! 

Tips for Staying Healthy this Season

Between the busy schedules, time spent indoors and dry air, it’s no wonder this season increases our chances of getting the common cold or flu. With the possible increase of stress due to additional events or things on our ‘to-do’ list the amount of time we have to take care of ourselves mentally and physically decreases.

In other words, what we eat may change (less time to cook and meal prep) and our level of physical activity may decrease. Not to mention, self-care or time for ourselves, might completely go out the door.

In combination with being run down, not eating properly and increased levels of stress, our immune system becomes compromised and is not able to battle those nasty viruses that get in to our body.

So what can you do to prevent getting sick? Here are 5 Tips to get you started!

1)    Eat a Healthy Diet

  • Following the guidelines from Canada’s Food Guide is a great start! Having a balanced diet will provide you with all of the nutrients you need to keep your immune system working at its best!
  • hese are just guidelines! The idea is to have most of the foods you eat in a day come from the Fruits and Vegetables group, then Grain Products, Milk and Milk Products and finally Meat and Alternatives. Do what’s right for your body!

2)    Stay Physically Active

  • This helps the immune system stay strong and fight off infections.
  • Health Canada suggests being active for at least 2.5 hours a week.
    o   This can broken down into sessions of 10 minutes or more.
  • Remember, every step counts! Do what you enjoy!

3)    Get Enough Sleep

  • The number of hours each person needs to sleep per night may vary on several factors (i.e. age, sleep derivation, etc.).
  • Some studies have shown that not getting enough sleep can negatively affect your immune system in a number of ways.
  • Guidelines suggest most adults need between 7-8 hours a night.

4)    Reduce Stress

  • Stress can weaken your immune system, thereby increasing the chance of catching a cold or flu.
  • Take time for yourself and do the things you love! 

    o   For example, take a walk, list 3 things you are grateful for, call a friend, meditate, go to the gym with a friend or by yourself or have a bubble bath

5)    Wash your Hands!