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Diet Diva

Get advice on healthy eating, nutrition, and weight loss from expert dietitian Tara Gidus. 

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Boost Your Immune System This Holiday Season

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Woman feeling sickIt’s that time of the year again . . . the holiday season, which means tons of holiday parties, traveling, and low immune systems. The last thing you want to ruin you holidays is a cold or the flu. So how can you keep your immune system strong during the holidays?  Watch my recent appearance on The Daily Buzz to see the tips!

Here are some things to keep in mind this holiday season while you are traveling, out shopping, or hanging around the house with family members.

Boost up Your Veggies

We have entered the time of year with tons of sweets and treats. Sure it’s fine to enjoy this every once in awhile during the holidays, but maybe not every day. Do your best to eat healthy and clean as much as possible by building up your immune system with lots of veggies.  Salads are a super easy way to get your veggies--and fruits! Get creative with your salads like putting them into wraps, casseroles, frittatas, or soups, like this gazpacho. Check out this Southwest Gazpacho recipe from DOLE.  DOLE has a huge variety of salads with a total of 38 packaged salad varieties that offer the perfect foundation for holiday and leftover holiday meals

You can even add veggies to your favorite foods--like Pizza!  Use whole wheat dough or pre-baked crusts, fresh spinach, tomatoes, oregano, and feta cheese. Check out this recipe for Greek Pizza loaded in veggies. YUM!   

Fill in the gaps!

Flu season reaches its height in late fall or early winter. Viruses circulate better in colder weather, so being prepared is going to be your best bet to avoid getting sick. It’s important to maintain physical wellness to keep up with the stressful demands of the holiday season. During a time when many are indulging in holiday treats that might not provide the best nutrition, a daily multivitamin can help ensure you’re getting the nutrients you need to be your best. In addition, Vitamin C and Vitamin E are two vitamins particularly important this time of year to help support a healthy immune system.  I like Nature Made, the #1 pharmacist recommended brand of letter vitamins like C and E.

Keep it clean

Crowds and air travel are inevitable and also impossible to avoid during the holiday season. Whether you are shopping at a crowded mall or attending holiday parties, you are being exposed to everyone’s germs. The best prevention to catching a virus is hand washing. Germs are easily spread through surface contact. Wash often and use hand sanitizers if you’re not near a sink.

Air travel and staying inside during the winter months traps germs inside, so you’re more likely to get sick.  Practice wiping down surfaces (door knobs, steering wheel, phone, computer mouse) often with antibacterial wipes as well.

Hope everyone has a happy and healthy holiday!

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Tags: Healthy Eating

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About the Author


MS, RD, CSSD, LD/N

Tara Gidus is a nationally recognized expert and spokesperson on nutrition and fitness.

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