Diet Diva
Diet Diva

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

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Boost Your Immunity During the Holiday Season

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Immune Boosting Vegetables
The holidays are a time for family fun and social gatherings, but with the hustle and bustle of the season, it can also be a time of stress and sickness. With the cooler weather paired with the stress of the holidays, it can be very easy to feel run-down and catch a cold during this time of year. Fortunately, there are many food- and lifestyle-related things that we can do to take care of our bodies for a joyous holiday season, and a healthy new year.

Get Adequate Sleep

One of the main reasons that people become run-down during the holidays is due to lack of sleep. During the holidays especially, try to get at least seven to eight hours of sleep per night for a strong and healthy immune system. Get into a bedtime routine by unwinding at the same time each night to get the most sleep benefit.

Eat Foods High in Antioxidants

During your day-to-day life there are many toxins that can get into your body through by-products known as free radicals. To reduce the levels of toxins in your body, eat foods that are high in antioxidants! Antioxidants prevent and repair damage done by these free radicals, and help to prevent health problems such as heart disease, cancer, diabetes and more. Looking for foods high in antioxidants?  Include a variety of fruits, vegetables and whole grains for powerful antioxidants. Try berries, pomegranate, beans, apples, carrots, nuts, flaxseed and more.

Exercise Regularly

Exercise helps build your immune function and maximize your body’s potential. Keep moving and try to get at least 30 minutes of exercise four or five days per week. Walk to your grocery store, take the stairs, join an exercise class, or get a gym membership. Don’t wait until your New Year’s resolutions to get fit, act now!

Manage Your Stress

Stress can take a toll on your immune system, especially during the holiday season. There are many ways to prevent and manage stress, but each person is different and has their own individual way of relaxing. Stress management can come in many forms such as exercise, eating well, sleep, deep breathing, meditation, yoga and more! Experiment with these options to find what works best for you.

Other Tips

Other good strategies to take care of your immune system include drinking alcohol in moderation, eliminating exposure to smoke from cigarettes, and maintaining your hygiene through proper hand washing. Exercise, eat right and relax for a healthy and happy holiday season!

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Tags: Antioxidants , Healthy Eating , Nutrition

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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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