cold and flu nutrition by Dijlistic


									Nutrition Guidelines
for the Cold and Flu Season
Below are some nutritional guidelines to fight the cold or flu:
• Eat fresh vegetables and fruits, which contain phytochemicals that help give the vitamins in food a magnified effect. • Avoid mucous-forming foods. Large amounts of dairy products can be a problem for some people. • Excess amounts of sugar and alcohol can impair the immune system. • Eat a well-balanced diet. • Drink plenty of fluids. Avoid caffeinated beverages such as coffee, tea and soda because caffeine acts as a diuretic. Drink decaffeinated herbal teas, poultry or vegetable broths. • Consuming foods high in Vitamin C and zinc have been shown to boost the immune system. • Herbal remedies, such as Echinacea and zinc lozenges, may assist if taken properly. Take at the first sign of a cold, but do not exceed the recommended dosage.

1. Eat breakfast. 2. Eat a variety of foods from ALL of the food groups in proper portion sizes. 3. Eat foods and drink alcohol in moderation (consuming foods/beverages within reasonable limits, not excessive or extreme). 4. Eat an assortment of colors; the more colors you eat, the more nutrients you consume. 5. Eat more steamed, grilled and baked foods and less fried foods. 6. Eat more fruits and vegetables – shoot for 5-9 servings a day. 7. Eat a diet consisting of 50-65% calories from carbohydrates (preferably from whole grain products), 25-30% from fat, and 15-20% from protein. Carbohydrates, protein and fat do provide calories. Vitamins, minerals and water do not contain calories, but are necessary to live a healthy life. 8. Exercise 20-60 minutes five times each week. 9. Make one little change each day and before you know it, it will become a habit! 10. Suggestions for improving eating habits, why you should eat breakfast and general information on the basic nutrients are on our web site:

Cold/Flu & Healthy Eating
• What’s the difference • between a cold and flu? • What’s Echinacea? • Zinc Lozenges • Nutrition Guidelines for • Cold and Flu Season

For additional information, contact:
Dianne Z. Sutherland, RD,LDN Dining Services Worcester Dining Commons 3rd Floor 110 Stockbridge Road University of Massachusetts Amherst, MA 01003 Phone (413) 545-2472 Fax (413) 545-9673 Email

• Eating a Well • Balanced Diet • Cold and Flu • Prevention Tips

Cold/Flu & Healthy Eating
■ What is the Difference Between a Cold and the Flu?
A cold is a virus that involves your upper respiratory tract. The symptoms include nasal congestion, sneezing and the sniffles. They are a result of your body’s defense against the virus. The flu is one of several strains of the influenza virus. The influenza virus can infect the entire respiratory tract with more severe symptoms than a cold. Common symptoms include congestion, sore throat, cough, nausea, vomiting, fever, muscle aches, chills and sweats.

Cold and Flu Prevention Tips
To prevent the spread of colds and the flu, follow these simple tips:
• Use good personal hygeine. Wash your hands! You do not know who touched that door knob before you. • Use a tissue when you sneeze or cough. Do not sneeze or cough into your hands so germs are not transmitted. • Do not touch your face. You are increasing the risk of transmitting viruses entering through your eyes, nose or mouth. • Take a hot shower to help moisten the mucous of your respiratory system. • Get fresh air. Winter heating dries you out and makes you more susceptible to viruses. Germs tend to circulate indoors. • Exercise regularly. • Stop smoking. Smoking can affect the immune system and dry out your nasal passages. • Get plenty of rest and sleep. • Relax! By relaxing more often, you can teach your immune system to work better when needed.

■ What is Echinacea?
• Echinacea is a wildflower known as the purple coneflower. It is found in North American plains, prairies and open woodlands. • Echinacea claims to increase bodily resistance to infection. Echinacea can help shorten the length of an illness but not prevent it. • But the real question is, does it work? Well, studies have been mixed. A recent study just came out finding that there was no significant difference in people who supplemented with Echinacea. • If you want to take Echinacea, speak to your doctor first. Take it as directed because if you take it for an extended period of time, it may weaken your resistance to the cold virus.

■ Eating a Well Balanced Diet
Eat a balanced diet based on MyPyramid with foods high in Vitamin C and zinc to help boost your immune system. Make sure you include lots of fruits and vegetables. For specific sources of Vitamin C and zinc, please refer to the brochures on “Vitamins and Healthy Eating“ and “Minerals and Healthy Eating.” Bon appetite!

■ Zinc Lozenges
Some studies indicate that taking zinc lozenges at the first sign of a cold (within the first 24 hours of cold symptoms) may help reduce the length of the illness. Zinc lozenges do not prevent one from getting a cold. Do not take them for more than three days because there are possible side effects. Do not go over the recommended dosage (Men: 15 mg, Women: 12 mg). With over 200 types of viruses and different strengths of lozenges, check with your doctor first before taking them.

The nutrition information in this brochure is for educational purposes only. Information in this brochure shall not be construed as medical, nutritional, fitness or other professional advice nor is it intended to provide medical treatment or legal advice. We recommend you meet with the appropriate professional advisors regarding any individual conditions.

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