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Tips to Stay Healthy During Flu Season

During the flu season, staying healthy is about much more than good hand washing hygiene. Healthy bodies are at an advantage for fighting off infection and illness. The importance of promoting optimal health through balanced nutrition and physical activity is beneficial, not just during flu season, but all year round. And, while food alone cannot protect you from illness, being at your healthiest you, just might be to your advantage.

Stay Healthy Tips:

Focus on these tips for promoting optimal health and wellness to guide you through this flu season and throughout the year.

  • Consume a variety of fruits and vegetables every day. Fruits and vegetables are good sources of nutrients like vitamin A, vitamin C, potassium, and many other vitamins and minerals. Vitamin C helps the immune system to work properly and assists in the absorption of iron and Vitamin A is important for the immune system.
  • Choose low-fat dairy, at least three servings daily. Dairy provides our bodies with calcium, protein, iron, and vitamin D. Dairy foods such as yogurt can also be a source of probiotics in our diet. Vitamin D helps to maintain normal blood levels of calcium and phosphorus, helping the body to maintain strong bones.
  • Choose lean proteins at meals and snacks. Protein is crucial for helping our bodies to grow and repair as needed. Most of your favorite protein sources also provide a source of zinc, iron and B vitamins for added nutritional benefit. Zinc supports adequate immune function and aides in tissue growth and development.
  • Consume adequate fiber for promoting a healthy gut. A large part of promoting a healthy immune system starts with the gut, where nearly 60% of our body's antibody cells reside. Fiber rich whole grains provide additional nutrients such as protein, folic acid, and B vitamins. Vitamin B6 may aid in supporting a healthy immune system.

Stay Healthy Foods:

Five of our favorite foods that pack a whopping source of nutrition in return for their calories.

  • Red bell peppers contain 320% of our daily needs for vitamin C, 90% for vitamin A, and 20% for vitamin B6. They are also a source of beta-carotene and lycopene. Try sliced red bell peppers as a snack or include them into your recipes. Add red bell peppers to pizza, tacos, sandwiches, and salads!
  • Guava contains 630% of our daily needs for vitamin C, 36% for fiber, 20% for potassium. It is also a source of lycopene. You can eat guava as a snack or add it to yogurt for a fun kick!
  • Kiwis contain 280% of our daily needs for vitamin C, 90% for vitamin K, 20% for fiber, 16% for potassium, and 15% for vitamin E. Kiwis are great as a snack and also taste wonderful in a fruit salad.
  • Almonds provide 35% of our daily needs for vitamin E, 30% for manganese, 20% for magnesium, and 10% for calcium. Add H-E-B Natural Almonds to cereal, salads, yogurt, or a trail mix for a great nutritional kick.
  • Broccoli contains 280% of our daily needs for vitamin K and 170% for vitamin C. Pick up a broccoli slaw in the Produce Department to add to tacos or serve as a side with fish.