Breathe Easy This Winter
Immune Health While there is no guarantee you won’t catch a cold this winter, good nutrition and ensuring you have enough vitamins may strengthen your immunity to help protect against infections.
With the holidays soon upon us, use these wellness tips to help you and your family stay healthy over the winter.
“To support our immune system, it is important to lead a healthy lifestyle,”
says Andrea D’Ambrosio, a Registered Dietitian. “This includes being physically active, getting enough sleep, and eating
a balanced diet.”
If your diet is not providing the nutrients necessary to maintain your health, you may consider a multivitamin with zinc and vitamin C. If you are considering taking supplements, it’s important to check with your physician or dietitian. Following a healthy diet to support optimal immune functioning is necessary all year long.
Zinc is proven to support our immune system, and vitamin C helps maintain good health. According to D’Ambrosio, as we age, our immune system may not work as efficiently. In particular, older adults may have difficulty absorbing certain nutrients, or they may not get as much from foods, due to a decrease in appetite. This is where vitamins come into play, supplementing a healthy diet.
"...there are some easy things people can do to relieve symptoms, including staying hydrated, and using a saline spray, which is good at relieving your stuffy nose."
Many of us will experience a cold or the flu over the next year, but that doesn’t mean you have to suffer through the symptoms that can include nasal congestion, a sore throat, and tired eyes. “Almost all of these infections are viral, and self-limiting, which means they will run their course over a week to 10 days,” Says Dr. Allan Vescan, an ear, nose, and throat specialist (Otolaryngologist) at Mt. Sinai Hospital and University of Toronto lecturer. “In these cases, antibiotics are not useful, but there are some easy things people can do to relieve symptoms, including staying hydrated, and using a saline spray, which is good at relieving your stuffy nose.”
Sinus pressure, from nasal congestion, can make sleeping and daily activities difficult. That’s where the saline rinse can clear excess mucus in congested nasal passages, helping us to breathe easier. This is a daily fast, effective, and non-irritating remedy that can be effective for your whole family.
Dr. Vescan also encourages people to make sure they are up to date with their immunizations and wash their hands regularly, and if they don’t see symptom relief in seven days, it’s important to see their doctor.