South Shore Breaker

Supporting your body through cold and flu season

- HAYLEY EWING @Saltwirene­twork

Flu season will be here soon. After several winters with very little flu, health care profession­als are warning that this year the effects of seasonal flu may be more severe than we’ve seen in some time.

So, now is a good time to start preparing your body’s defence system. Immunity is the body’s ability to prevent the invasion of pathogens, which include bacteria, viruses and other foreign disease-causing substances.

There are several simple ways to boost your body’s defence system and be your healthiest self this fall. Here are my go-to tips as a registered dietitian:


The best way to ensure your body is getting an adequate supply of immune-supporting nutrients daily is by eating a diet packed with whole foods. These nutrients include vitamin C from all fruits and vegetables, but are found in the highest amounts in broccoli, bell peppers and citrus fruits; vitamin D from fatty fish and eggs; zinc from meat, shellfish, nuts, legumes, tofu and whole grains; and lastly, probiotics from foods like kefir and probiotic yogurt.

A registered dietitian can support you with meal ideas to incorporat­e these foods and nutrients into your lifestyle, while considerin­g your budget, cooking skills, preference­s and health concerns.


Hydration is one of the key elements to maintainin­g good health and a strong immune system. It is vital for the functionin­g of all our organs and plays a major role in keeping our immune systems functionin­g optimally. Therefore, the immune system could start to break down when dehydrated. To help identify adequate hydration, aim for pale yellow (the colour of lemonade) or clear urine, which indicates good hydration status.


You might envision self-care as a relaxing spa day, going for a coffee with a friend, or a nice bath, but self-care is also your daily routine of incorporat­ing movement you enjoy, getting adequate sleep, managing stress by meditating or stepping away from work to eat. These activities not only support mental health, but also physical health. For example, during sleep, the body releases proteins that play a key role in the regulation of the immune system, and movement increases blood and lymph flow, increasing the circulatio­n of immune cells. Taking the time to take care of yourself is essential for health and wellbeing.


The flu shot is the best way to prevent the flu and will be widely available very soon this fall — including at the in-store pharmacy at our local Atlantic Superstore. Canadians are being encouraged to get their flu shot as soon as it’s available this year, because of the expectatio­n of a more severe season that has already been the experience of Australia and other countries in the southern hemisphere. These countries get hit first with flu each year, so we get a preview from them of what to expect in Canada.

Check out my Facebook page, Hayley E., Your Dietitian at Atlantic Superstore, for more nutrition tips and details on my upcoming Eating for Immune Health classes at the Bridgewate­r Superstore on Nov. 3 and 8. I hope to see you there.

Hayley Ewing is a registered dietitian with Atlantic Superstore in Bridgewate­r, Liverpool and the Annapolis Valley. Do you have a nutrition health goal in mind? Contact Hayley by phone at 902-5214261, or by email at hayley. or book an in-person or virtual consult at bookadieti­ Our dietitian team also offers group programmin­g in select stores and in the community — check the dietitian booth or at the pharmacy at your local store to see what’s happening.

 ?? ??

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada