5 Tips to Prevent the Common Cold

woman with cold
By: Isabel Smith, MS, RD, CDN

The weather is getting cooler, and stuffy noses and coughs (as well as flu viruses) are all around us. Keeping your immune system boosted is one of the most important things you can do to help stay healthy. Here are five key strategies — as well as some immune-boosting foods and recipes — to help keep you healthy this cold and flu season.

1. Keep Moving

While exercise in excess can dampen the immune system, it is super important to move and be active to help boost the immune system and prevent the common cold. Most of us should aim for at least 30 minutes four to five times weekly. Looking for inspiration? Try one of these workouts:

2. Eat Your Veggies

Vegetables are full of healthy nutrients, such as vitamins A and C, which are great for the immune system. They’re also free from processed and added ingredients that can dampen the immune system and be taxing on our bodies — I’m referring, of course, to the processed sugars, chemicals and additives that get in the way of immune health. One of the very best ways to include more vegetables in your diet is to participate in our Guided Reboot programs.

 3. Have More Immune-Boosting Foods

Some foods are known to help your immune system stay healthy. Try to include these ones in your diet regularly:

  • Grapefruit: Contains bioflavonoids that are great for immune-boosting, and of course also contains vitamin C, a known antioxidant that helps to boost immune health. Try broiled grapefruit recipe for a tasty snack or dessert option.
  • Cauliflower: Cauliflower (a favorite of mine) contains choline, a key nutrient that is helpful in boosting the immune system and helps to keep the lining of the digestive tract healthy, which is a key part of the immune system. Cauliflower also contains glutathione that’s a powerful nutrient that helps to fight infection. Try a fennel seed roasted cauliflower recipe.
  • Carrots: Carrots often get a bad wrap for being too high in sugar, but they’re such a wonderful and healthful root veggie (I eat tons of them). Carrots are rich in beta carotene, a key nutrient that helps to boost the body’s mucous membrane. Try Roasted Carrot and Avocado Salad.
  • Eggs: Eggs used to be thought of as too “high” in cholesterol, however the yolk in particular is a great source of key nutrients like zinc and selenium that help to boost the immune system. The egg’s protein is good for the immune system, too. You can have a veggie frittata for breakfast or lunch.
  • Cinnamon: This spice is loaded with antiviral and antibacterial properties. Try dusting it on your dessert juice or even on your morning oatmeal or in your pureed vegetable soup like this butternut squash soup.

 4. Get More Sleep

Sleep is absolutely crucial for a healthy immune system. It gives your body time to rest and recover and helps to promote a healthy immune system. Aim for seven to eight hours nightly. If you need to or can, take a few naps. Get tips on how to get a better night’s sleep.

5. Practice Good Hand-Hygiene

Hand hygiene — which is just a fancy way to say washing your hands — is the number one most important thing when it comes to preventing the common cold. Practicing good hand hygiene helps to prevent you spreading germs from anything you touch both to yourself and others. Practice the age-old trick of washing your hands while singing happy birthday or the ABC’s (of course in your head). Washing for long enough allows you to get into all the nooks and crannies in between your fingers and on your hands where germs may be hiding that can make you sick.

For more information on boosting your immune system, check out these blog posts: Juice: The Immune System Booster? and 6 Simple Immune-Boosting Foods.

Isabel Smith, MS, RD, CDN

Isabel is a Registered Dietitian, wellness expert and fitness coach. Isabel has her own nutrition and wellness practice based in New York City, Isabel Smith Nutrition, but she works with clients and corporations both nationwide and worldwide in a variety of areas including skin health, weight loss, gastrointestinal issues and allergies, sports nutrition, general wellness and more. As a Guided Reboot coach, Isabel has helped hundreds juice their way to better health. When she isn’t helping clients achieve optimal nutrition and wellness, she can be found trying and creating new juices and making other healthy recipes, running, cooking, spinning, practicing yoga, and enjoying time with her two Yorkshire terriers. Isabel is also one of the nutritionists who runs our Guided Reboot programs.

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