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Health Articles

Learn how to apply current physiology and nutrition research to improve your health and performance.

How to Combat the Flu

Here are my steps for preventing and dealing with the flu if you are misfortunate enough to catch it.

Let food be your medicine:

  • Avoid simple sugars such a sweet treats, desserts, white flour and refined grains. Refined sugars can suppress your immune system for hours after ingested. 
  • Include protein with each meal. Proteins are the building blocks of the body, including your immune and detoxification systems. Organic, clean and lean animal protein, as well as plant-based proteins (legumes, nuts, seeds) are important to consume with each meal and snack. 
  • Add garlic, onions, ginger, and lots of healing spices (oregano, turmeric) to your soups, vegetable, main dishes and bean dips and sauces. Garlic and onions offer a wide spectrum of antimicrobial properties. Eat multiple servings of colorful fruits and vegetables that are high in vitamins C and A and phytonutrients that support the immune system. Choose more of the following and cook them: cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower), peppers, sweet potatoes and squashes. Aim for three to four servings of fruits and four or more servings of vegetables every day!
  • Drink plenty of fluids: With the dryer air inside and out, winter can be a particularly challenging time to stay hydrated! Consuming adequate fluids supports all of your body’s functions including the immune system. 
  • Make soups (from scratch with fresh vegetables is always best) and enjoy them throughout the week. 
  • Drink herbal teas like ginger and echinacea daily. 
  • Keep a bottle of filtered water with you at all times. 
  • Avoid concentrated fruit juices and sweetened beverages because the sugar content is harmful for the immune system. If you do drink juice, dilute it with 2/3 water!
  • Get sufficient sleep! We all know sleep restores and heals the body. Without adequate sleep, optimal immune function is next to impossible! On dark winter nights, try heading to bed earlier and aim for seven to eight hours of sleep every night. Incorporating various relaxation and breathing techniques throughout the day to help relieve stress and allow your mind to rest is also very helpful!

Make sure you are applying the principles of earlier blog posts that I've published:

Shatter your Weight Loss Plateau-Part 1

Shatter your Weight Loss Plateau-Part 2

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