The holiday season means festive treats and time with friends and family. And unfortunately for some people, the holiday season also means dealing with a cold, the flu, or another illness that may be floating around during the chillier months.
Between extra travel, being around more people, and being indoors more frequently, the chances of us getting sick is much higher than during other times of the year.
The good news is that, while there is no magic bullet to keep yourself illness-free during cold and flu season, there are some things that may help you keep the sniffles at bay. Especially if you are hitting the road this holiday season and you will be exposed to more germs than usual, including some of these tips and tricks into your day during the holiday travel season may do your immune health some good.
Snack On Gut Health-Supporting Snacks
Believe it or not, but 70% of the immune system is located in your gut. And one of the best ways to support your gut health, and therefore your immune health, is to eat to promote a healthy and diverse gut microbiota. Eating foods with a balance of prebiotic fibers and probiotic bacteria can help you accomplish this goal.
Focusing on seasonal snacks that check many gut health-supporting boxes, like having prebiotic and probiotic fibers, can help you enjoy the holiday season and keep your health in check. CORE Bar Limited Batch Marshmallow Hot Chocolate not only contains both prebiotics and probiotics, but they also are made with zero added sugar, they are totally plant-based, and they are gluten-free! Best of all, they are pre-packaged to make snacking to support your gut health while on-the-go, totally easy-breezy. And what could beat that flavor combo - perfect for winter!
Wash Your Hands Often
How many times have we heard how important it is to wash our hands over the past few years? Thanks to COVID, we have heard this advice more times than we care to admit. But while we may be burnt out over heeding this advice, it is true that this simple act of keeping your hands clean can help keep you healthy during cold and flu season. Taking 20 seconds out of your day to scrub your hands with soap and water can be the missing link between getting infected and staying healthy.
Getting your beauty sleep can do so much more than help you feel focused and energized. Some data shows that people who don't get quality or adequate sleep are more likely to get sick after being exposed to a virus. And if you happen to get sick, not getting enough sleep can lead to your body needing more time to recover. While it may be tempting to stay up until the wee hours of the night when you are traveling, making a point to get enough quality sleep will serve you well in the long run.
Don’t Forget the Healthy Fats
Omega-3s are healthy fats that are generally anti-inflammatory, and this effect can help support immune health naturally. You can include more healthy fats in your diet by eating oily coldwater fish (like salmon), including avocado in your meals, or adding chia seeds to your dishes. Snacks like CORE Bars have chia seeds as an ingredient, allowing you to include healthy fats in your diet simply by snacking on these bars.
The holiday season is filled with fun times and hectic schedules. And unfortunately, this time of the year can be associated with an increased risk of getting sick, thanks to the dip in the weather, the increased travel, and the change in our usual schedule. And while there is no magic bullet that will guarantee that you will be free from any illness over the holiday season, taking simple steps like including prebiotic and probiotic snacks in your diet, prioritizing sleep, and washing your hands may help you stay healthy during the “most wonderful time of the year”. So, grab a CORE Bar, go to bed early, and enjoy the holiday season in the healthiest way possible!
~Lauren Manaker MS, RDN, LD