We're well into flu season locally as there's already been a few reported cases in Waterloo Region and Guelph.
If you unfortunately find yourself suffering from the virus, Zehrs Kitchener registered dietitian Heidi Pola has some tips on how you can feel better.
She tells 570 NEWS it's important to have a healthy diet all-year round, but especially during cold and flu season.
"There's a few different foods that I like to recommend – the first being foods that are rich in Vitamin C. So often when we hear about Vitamin C we think about citrus fruits, but in addition, you also have red and yellow peppers, kale, and strawberries which are all great sources," says Pola. "I also recommend beans and lentils as they're an excellent source of protein, and Zinc as well as it can help boost our immunity. Nuts and seeds are also a great source of Vitamin E – which is an antioxidant that can help with the maintenance of good health. There are a lot of different food options that we should have stocked up in our pantry."
Pola says being prepared is key – at it's not always easy to get up and grab groceries when we're under the weather.
"I would say just making simple additions – so if you're just feeling some chicken noodle soup, add some kale, peppers, or carrots just to kind of round it out with some more nutrients. We want to make sure we're having a variety of foods to stay healthy and put us on that road to recovery."
Diet is very important during the recovery process, but there are some other things you should be doing.
"We want to make sure we are staying home if we're ill. We need to be flu-free for 24 hours before we return to work, so if you have a fever over 100 degrees, you need to stay home. Getting rest is so important as well – you need about seven to eight hours each day, and practice frequent hand-washing. I also recommend getting a flu shot, as science tells us that’s the best way to prevent contracting a cold or the flu."
Pola adds we should keep our fluids up when we're sick, and if you can only stomach one meal a day – make it count, and nutrient-rich.
If you have any more questions about how to fight off a cold or the flu, you can go see a Zehrs Kitchener dietitian as they have nutrition advice and some healthy recipes too.