Staying Well When Everyone Around You is Sick!

February 25, 2017

Staying Well When Everyone Around You is Sick!

Learn five science-based self-care tips to keep you healthy and thriving even in the midst of illness among family and friends.

Two nutritionists share five science based self-care tips to keep you healthy and thriving even in the midst of sick family and friends.

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CASSIE: Good morning, everyone and welcome to Dishing Up Nutrition. My name is Cassie Wenes. I'm a registered and licensed dietitian. I work for Nutritional Weight & Wellness, the company that’s sponsoring this program. As many of you know, each week on this program we bring you up to date research and information on how eating real food in balance can change your life. And I bet the longtime listeners, if they recognize my voice, they know what's coming next. A big good morning to my two biggest fans listening back home. So good morning to Riley, my 11-year-old. And good morning to Marissa, my 9-year-old. And the rest of you are in for a really great show this morning. We're going to be talking about using real food to stay well. Now, before we delve into specifics I have a question or two. What do you suppose your lunch has to do with whether or not you get bronchitis? Or how can eating the right bedtime snack keep you from getting the stomach flu? Nobody wants the stomach flu. And the moms don't want it because they have to clean up throw up of the little kids. Here's a good one that applies to a lot: Does a bowl of ice cream really set you up for a sinus infection? So, the official title of today's show is How to Stay Healthy When Everyone Around You is Sick. And to help me give out all of the great information and research that will help you avoid the flu and bronchitis as we still have plenty of winter days to go is that voice you heard across from me in studio today. That is my colleague and my friend, Kate Crosby. Kate is a nutritional counselor and a teacher as well as a wealth of information. And I tell you, the youngest looking grandma ever. And Kate, you see clients out of our North Oaks office. So, welcome to you. It's about time the boss has put us back on the air together. We have such a good time together.

KATE: Oh, it's always fun to work with you on the radio. But this topic of staying well, oh boy it's hopefully going to help a lot of listeners. However, Cassie, you and I have had our fair share of struggles staying healthy this winter. And you hear it with so many clients. You hear it in the grocery store. People talking about being sick and how it last for three weeks. This fall I had the flu and it kept me horizontal for days and I couldn't believe it. So, if we can help just a handful of people tuning in today to avoid the nasty germs and viruses that are circulating this time of year. Boy, I'm going to feel great.

CASSIE:  Yes, I agree. And I think we'd better jump right in because we have a lot of great stuff to cover in a short amount of time. So, in preparing for today's topic, Kate and I sort of packaged what we feel are the most important lifestyle habits to practice in order to stay well into five main self-care tips.

KATE: Yep. And while all these five tips are important, getting enough sleep has to be one of the biggest pieces of the puzzle, don't you think?

CASSIE: I think so and I don't think enough people value that good night sleep as much as they should. And I was reminded of this the hard way honestly this past December. Boy, so it was just last month, Kate, that I had to have Joanne fill in for me because I had pneumonia. You mentioned it's awful, right? You said it feels like death. That's a good description. When I think back to having pneumonia in December I just remember all the coughing and the coughing and the coughing. And then you're up all-night coughing and it's really like you feel like you're going to cough up your organs. And while I did not cough up an organ I coughed so hard I displaced one of my ribs. It is painful. So, not fun. I don't wish that on my worst enemy, but I can tell you that when I got diagnosed with pneumonia in December I knew right then it was because of my chronic lack of good sleep much of November and into December and you probably know how it goes. Thanksgiving rolled around. This year we decided to travel out of state for that. So, you're out of your own bed not sleeping quite as well. We get back from Thanksgiving then the Christmas shopping starts, the Christmas gatherings begin. We had an out of town basketball tournament somewhere in there where we were gone overnight. So again, a strange bed. So, here's a question I want to ask our listeners. Do you know how very important it is to get eight to nine hours of sleep each night to keep your immune system strong?

KATE:   I don't know if listeners have realized that I think your story really speaks volumes. And I'm going to share some research with listeners. You shared it with me as we were preparing for today's show. The title of this research actually speaks to your situation. This research was published in 2012 in a journal called Sleep. And the title of the study was a prospective study of sleep duration and pneumonia risk in women. It looked at over 56,000 female nurses between the ages of 37 and 57. And the study followed them for several years. And as I'm sure listeners have guessed, the women not getting enough sleep had significantly increased risk of getting pneumonia.

CASSIE: Right. And that study goes on to say that sleep deprivation reduces your number of killer T cells and monocytes. In other words, sleep deprivation kills your two main defenses or decreases the number of your two main defenses that you have in killing off bad germs.

KATE:  Yeah. So I'm just going to stress it again. Cassie, you said it earlier, but most every adult needs eight to nine hours of sleep a night to keep that immune system operating at its best.

CASSIE:  And let's not forget the importance of our kids and our grandkids getting enough good sleep. And certainly, that can vary depending on age and size and activity level. But, most kids and adolescents need at least 9 to 10 hours of sleep every night.

KATE:  Exactly. Easy for us to say, but for people who have trouble sleeping or maybe even have true insomnia, this recommendation may seem impossible. So, I think why don't we give out before we go to break here a tip on how to improve your sleep.

CASSIE:  That's a really good idea because I'm sure it is frustrating to hear us talk about the importance of sleep if you’re not sleeping well. I bet there are some listeners out there falling into bed seemingly exhausted at night, and yet you lie awake for hours before you finally drift off to sleep.

KATE: And then there's another kind of insomnia or difficulty sleeping. People who can fall asleep just fine but then at 2:00 or 3:00 in the morning their eyes pop open and then you have a hard time falling back asleep.

CASSIE:  And I had both of those problems. I had awful insomnia before I found Nutritional Weight & Wellness so I really know how extremely frustrating it can be. One thing that helped me remedy my sleeping problems that I still do religiously every night, is to eat a balanced bedtime snack. Eating that snack will help your body be able to reach that deep, restful stage of sleep.

KATE: And I do that as well. One of my favorite bedtime snacks is just a half a banana with real whipped cream.

CASSIE: Yum. And I think we should probably take a quick break and maybe give another great bedtime snack idea when we come back.

BREAK

KATE:   Well, welcome back to Dishing Up Nutrition. I'm Kate Crosby, nutrition counselor and teacher and I'm here this morning with Cassie Wenes, licensed and registered dietitian.

KATE: So, before we went to break we were talking about the importance of sleep. And one helpful tip is to always have a bedtime snack. And another one that I love is roasted pears with walnuts and a splash of heavy cream. It's pretty fancy pants, but it's awfully tasty. So, what I usually do is take those pears and I cut them up into six and drizzle a little bit of olive oil on them and then roast them in the oven for about 30 minutes at 375. Then the work comes in. You got to turn each piece over. Then roast them for another 30 minutes and they should look very caramelized, kind of look like roasted potatoes. Oh, they are delicious. It’s something that I look forward to at bedtime.

CASSIE: And the most important piece of that bedtime snack is plenty of healthy fat. In both of your examples, it was a heavy cream. Whether you do that half a banana with heavy cream or these bosc pears. You're putting the heavy cream on there. That heavy cream or whatever healthy fat you choose is what stabilizes your blood sugar and keeps it even keel through the night. And when your blood sugar stays even keel all night, you sleep better.

KATE: You're going to sleep. You won't wake up because your blood sugar drops. But there's also another recommendation I always make to clients who are struggling with sleep. It's a supplement. Very simple. Magnesium glycinate. So, you might be asking how much should you take. Anywhere from 400 to 600 milligrams of a high-quality magnesium glycinate with your bedtime snack. For most people, it’s just the final piece of the puzzle that gets you sleeping just like a baby. Remember, magnesium is relaxing.

CASSIE: Yes. It allows your body to fall into that deep stage of sleep. Do you take magnesium at night?

KATE:  Yes, I take it throughout the day. I take quite a bit.

CASSIE:  Yep, I do too. And it really does help and if I'm traveling, my magnesium is coming with me. So, that's step number one in our five self-care tips to staying well. Moving on to step number two. I think this one might surprise many people, don't you think?

KATE: It might. But I know for certain a lot of adults in our country do this. And what I'm talking about is skipping meals. So, skipping meals is really a bad idea for several different reasons. But today we're just going to stress the fact that it harms your ability to fight off viruses and other bad bugs.

CASSIE: And one of the reasons why skipping meals is not helpful for a strong immune system is that you miss out on a key opportunity to load up on nutrients that can help fight off those nasty germs and viruses.

KATE: So, if lunchtime rolls around today and you have this nice big spinach salad topped with sirloin steak and tomatoes and onions, you're going to give your body a lot of vitamin A from that spinach, tons of zinc from the beef, and those tomatoes are full of Vitamin C. These are all nutrients proven to help bolster your immune system and fight off infection.

CASSIE:  Versus if lunchtime rolls around today and you skip it, you eat nothing, you miss this opportunity to give your body a big helping of vitamins and minerals like the A, C, and zinc that Kate just mentioned.

KATE: And there's another reason I'd like to mention that explains how skipping meals can really sabotage your immune system. I've observed this and read it in literature. Many people who skip a meal over-indulge when they do finally sit down to eat because you're so darn hungry by that point. You can't help yourself.

CASSIE: I remember doing that back in the day when I didn't know some of the power of eating every three hours.

KATE:  When you or I or anyone out there listening eats too much of a meal, most often it's going to spike your blood sugar. And guess what? High blood sugar really hampers your immune system’s ability to fight off germs. I think we better say that again. It's those high blood sugars that hamper your immune system’s ability to fight off germs.

CASSIE: And that really is a great segue into our third self-care tip for staying healthy this winter. Tip number three is avoid high blood sugars. So, one way as you just mentioned is that you might spike your blood sugar too high by skipping a meal and then by the next time the next meal rolls around you're famished so you overeat and your blood sugar goes sky high as a result. But there's certainly another way that a lot of Americans spike their blood sugar too high every single day. And that is that they eat high sugar foods. So, even if you're not in that bad habit of skipping meals, you could be spiking your blood sugar too high by eating processed carbs. And we'll talk more about that on the other side of break. When Kate and I come back, we're going to give you our number one pick when it comes to answering the question: what supplements should I be taking on a daily basis if I think my immune system needs a little extra help? Kate and I have talked about the importance of getting enough sleep. We've talked about don't skip meals. We're just getting in to talking about don't spike your blood sugar too high. But when we come back we're going to give you our number one supplement for boosting your immune system, as well.

BREAK

KATE: Welcome back to Dishing Up Nutrition. As Cassie mentioned before break, we both agree on this number one supplement that can give you a little added boost to make sure your winter is a healthy one. Drum roll please. We strongly feel that vitamin D tops the list of supplements to keep your immune system strong. Especially if you live here in the Midwest where the sun isn't close enough to the earth for us to make much vitamin D.

CASSIE: And the research out there is plenty showing that low vitamin D levels equal low immune function. In fact, there’s some really great research by Dr. Michael Holick a lot of this stuff. He is great. he's considered by many in the medical and nutrition world to be the leading expert on vitamin D. His research shows that low levels of vitamin D increase your risk of getting certain types of cancer. His research also shows that low levels of vitamin D make it more likely that you'll get an autoimmune disease like lupus or fibromyalgia just to name a couple.

KATE: That's kind of scary stuff. The cancer, the auto immune diseases. But potentially, it's a really simple solution. Now, we generally recommend that you get your blood levels of vitamin D checked. And if it's not somewhere between 50 and 80, you really need to be taking a supplement of vitamin D every day. I know you do. I do.

CASSIE: Absolutely. Mine was really scary low. And I think most people are unless you take it because we don't get it. And while we're on the topic of supplements, I want to mention another great one for keeping colds and viruses at bay, and probably a lot of people know this one but it bears repeating. Vitamin C is a very affordable sort of insurance you can give yourself every day in supplement form to help stay well this time of year.

KATE:   I often take large doses of vitamin C. Anywhere from two to three thousand milligrams a day if I feel like a cold is coming on. And we should mention, too, that since we're big believers in food first, there are tons of delicious fruits and vegetables that can give you healthy doses of Vitamin C. Two of my favorites are things like broccoli and bell peppers.

CASSIE: Those are two of my favorites, too. And yeah, that's a great point. Food first whenever you can. And I just want to mention one of my favorite ways to eat broccoli. I mean, I'll eat it any which way. Have you ever had it roasted? It just brings out different flavor. So, I love to just throw some melted coconut oil on my broccoli and then I roast it somewhere around twenty-five minutes at 400 degrees. I'll toss it in the coconut oil. And, hey, coconut oil is antiviral and antibacterial. Got that going for you, too, if you throw it on your broccoli.

KATE: Yes exactly. So, Cassie, I think we've got a couple callers here. Rebecca, are you still on the line? You have a question about your daughter and sleep?

CALLER:  Yes, my daughter is 5 1/2 and she is still occasionally waking up in the middle of the night thirsty. She wants milk. And I'm just wondering what she needs because she is healthy everywhere else.

KATE: Does she have a bedtime snack before she goes to bed?

CALLER: No.

KATE: And that might be the reason. So often, what happens is if you don't have a bedtime snack, for instance, half a banana and some heavy cream, so that's a carbohydrate and a fat, your blood sugar might drop. And then when your blood sugar drops, you might wake up. And for her, she just needs something to soothe her back to sleep and also to raise that blood sugar a tad.

CASSIE:  Her body’s telling her something.

KATE: And the fat in the bedtime snack is essential. And it's the one thing that most people don't remember to do when we say bedtime snack. Fat will prevent your blood sugar from dropping too low. So, another idea might be slices of apple with some peanut butter on it or berries and cream. You get the idea. I think it's really important that kids have a bedtime snack. Very simple. And it's small. It's not a big thing.

CASSIE: Yeah, I think that's a great suggestion and I think that's probably exactly what's going on.

KATE: Another one that's great for little kids and maybe your daughter as well is half a banana and half an avocado mashed together.

CASSIE:  We used to do that little pudding. Oh, and it's delicious. So, it's great for adults, too, if you just need something really quick.

CALLER: Thank you very much.

KATE: Well, thanks for your call. We have one more caller. Sharon, you have a question for us? 

CALLER: Yes, I do. So, I didn't eat breakfast because I'm not hungry in the morning. But then when I do eat breakfast, I eat what I think is a good meal. And then right after that I'm starving.

CALLER: What was your good meal?

CALLER:  I’m not hungry until I actually eat. Well, I might have eggs with some vegetables and some parmesan cheese, and I drink water. Or even if I have a shake with coconut oil in it, the moment I eat it first thing in the morning I get starving. I go to the fridge and think, “Oh no, not this, not this, and I just overeat.”

CASSIE:  Wow. I've heard that before, but it's when somebody is eating a high sugar breakfast.

CALLER:  I don't eat sugar and I don’t eat processed junk.

KATE: So how many eggs do you eat?

CALLER:I'll eat a couple.

KATE: And do you have some bacon with that or sausage?

CALLER:  No, I don't eat that kind of stuff. Sometimes if my boyfriend’s around we have some turkey bacon. But no.

KATE:  I'm just wondering if you need a little bit more protein. Three ounces. So, an egg is about an ounce.

CASSIE: Can ask how tall are you, Sharon.

CALLER: I'm 5’2”. And what's interesting, too, is I weigh about 108 in summer. But, in the winter I start gaining weight and I end up weighing about 128, and then around now I start to automatically lose weight. It's really weird.

KATE:  Are there any hormone problems?

CALLER:  No. Not at all.

KATE: There might be some food sensitivities that we can't really get at over the phone quickly that might be causing you to be hungry. So, I'm wondering if you switched up your breakfast to, like a small hamburger or something, or the turkey sausage recipe on our website. Maybe stay away from the eggs for a while and see if that’s the problem.

CASSIE: And just really, like you said, Kate, make sure every time you're getting enough protein. And then what is your fat? Like if you do eggs and vegetables are you cooking that in coconut oil?

CALLER:  Coconut oil, yes.

CASSIE:  Do you know about how much coconut oil you throw into the pan?

CALLER:  I try and do a tablespoon.

CASSIE: OK. So, you’re probably getting enough fat, but maybe just focusing more on the protein piece. I like that idea of maybe staying away from the eggs for a little while and just see what happens.

CALLER: And just go into meat. OK, I’ll try that. Yeah, thanks for your program. I chanced upon it. But it's all making a lot more sense.

CASSIE: Oh, it's wonderful. Thank you for listening. Lovely to hear that. Thanks.

Alright, so we were talking about high blood sugars and how that can really hamper your immune system. And right before we went to break I had said if you eat a lot of processed carbs, which is most Americans, right? That you're probably spiking your blood sugar too high several times throughout the day. So, I just kind of want to clarify what are processed carbohydrates for people who don't know. Now, one big blanket definition that I always give my kids that I think is good for adults, too. It's a processed carb if it was made in a processing plant. It's a real carbohydrate, which is what we want to be choosing, if it's a real carbohydrate. So, you can grow it in the garden, pick it from a tree. So, that's the big difference. Processed carbohydrates, things that spike your blood sugar would be bread, pasta, crackers, popcorn, granola bars, all the things I used to eat before I found Nutritional Weight & Wellness. And I'll tell you, I was a mess. So, your blood sugar just skips all around. Rollercoaster ride.

KATE:  I think we should take a minute or two and explain to our listeners why, when we spike that blood sugar too high, why our immune system suffers. And there's great research on this that I've got to quote. It's actually been published for decades, but a lot of people don't know about it. So, this research was published in 1973 in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. Reputable journal. And it states that after a high sugar meal or a high sugar snack, the speed of your white blood cells, those are the ones whose job it is to go out and attack the bacteria and viruses, is slowed down by 50 percent for five hours.

CASSIE: I love what you said to me in the break room when we were getting ready for the show. You said it's like those white blood cells that we need. It's like they're almost paralyzed. That's a good visual. That is great research, Kate. I often quote that when I teach classes. So, if you can let me go on a little story here. I'm a very visual learner and I want all the listeners to imagine it's Monday morning. I know you don't want to go there, but let's say it's Monday morning and maybe you hit snooze a couple too many times so you're running late so you leave the house without eating breakfast. But you're so dang hungry as you're driving to work that the car almost seems to drive itself into this coffee shop drive thru all on its own because you are hungry. And you order, let's say, a mocha and a blueberry muffin. You eat that on your way to work. You get to work. You’re headed to your desk and a co-worker stops you and they're coughing and they're hacking and they're sneezing and you can just feel the germs entering your body. And you go sit down at your desk. And because you had that high sugar food, those white blood cells I visualize as Pac-Man-- I'm a child of the ‘80s, played a lot of Pac-Man-- you want those Pac-Man operating at top speed to gobble up the germs. But you had a high sugar breakfast so now they're almost paralyzed. They're crawling. They can't get to the germs to gobble them up and the germs multiply and take you over and you're sick by the end of the day.

Rewind and I’m going to tell you another quick scenario before we go to our next break. Let's rewind and think of a better way that could unfold. Maybe you hit snooze one too many times, you're feeling rushed, but instead of leaving the house without breakfast, you make a protein smoothie. It takes all of three minutes. It's not hard. If you've never made it before, the recipe’s on our website and in our Weight & Wellness Way cookbook. Four simple ingredients that will balance your blood sugar. Now, you get to work, that same coworker comes up to you coughing and hacking and sneezing. You had a balanced blood sugar, so your little Pac-Man, your white blood cells, are operating at hyper speed. They gobble up those germs and viruses and they eat them up before they get a chance to multiply and make you sick. So, you stay healthy. And that’s the way to go and that's the way that it should be. This hour is flying by. It's time to take our final break already. Here's a question, though, to mull over while the commercials run. Why might a delicious juicy t-bone steak for dinner tonight be just what you need to fight off that nasty cold that's being passed around? We'll give you the answer when we return.

BREAK

KATE: Welcome back to Dishing Up Nutrition. If you're just tuning in, I'm Kate Crosby, nutrition counselor and teacher and I'm here with my colleague, Cassie Wenes, who posed a question a few minutes back and here it is: What does a t-bone steak for dinner tonight have to do with helping you fight off those nasty germs? Well, I'm going to steal a phrase that Cassie uses very often. Beef is nature's multivitamin and mineral. Beef is loaded. And one of the many minerals that beef has a lot of is zinc. In fact, did you know you've got to eat seven chicken breasts to get the same amount of zinc in just one little four-ounce steak?

CASSIE: Hopefully my brother is not listening that raises cattle because I'm going to say I like chicken. But I don't want to eat seven chicken breasts. And the research clearly says that if you're low in zinc you're more likely to get sick more often. So, I want everybody to stop right now and hold your hands up. Look at your fingernails. Do you have any white spots? That's a sign. How about this, are you prone to getting acne? Maybe go peek in the mirror. Are there any pimples popping up? Or are you experiencing some hair loss? If you answered yes to any of these, you're likely low in zinc. These are all body signs of a low zinc level, so the solution? Eat your beef! Not so bad of a prescription, right? You can think of beef as your great protector or all animal proteins really. I mean, that chicken will give you some zinc in a highly absorbable form. Pork will. Fish will. So, eat your animal protein and let it be that protective shield that you need to fight off infections.

So, let’s see. We talked about tip number one, getting enough sleep for staying healthy this winter. Tip number two was do not skip meals. Tip number three, we were just talking about, was to avoid high sugar foods and beverages can get you in trouble, too. So, avoid the high sugar beverages like the fufu coffee drinks and the alcohol. And, that leads us into tip number four for staying healthy this winter, which is avoid foods you're allergic to or avoid foods you have a sensitivity to. And here's the science behind this recommendation: Let's say you have a sensitivity to corn. I mean, we know we're seeing a lot more people with corn sensitivities.

KATE:  A lot of people have it. And it's a subtle one.

CASSIE:It's getting more and more. I've heard Joann, our colleague, say that she has corn sensitivities. Oh, and Madeline that was talking about her back pain, she is sensitive to corn. So, we certainly are seeing it more and more in clinical practice. So, let's say you have a sensitivity to corn and maybe it's because, like my kids, you know it because you get heartburn every time you eat corn. Whatever your body sign is, when you eat too many corn chips or too much popcorn, if you have a sensitivity then your body recognizes that corn like it's a bad virus or bad bacteria. And your body sends out white blood cells to attack the corn.

KATE:  And then if you come across, say, the flu bug while you're out somewhere, there's no way your body's going to be able to fight off that flu bug because your defenses are already busy. They're busy attacking all those corn chips that you just inhaled. Or the popcorn or whatever it is.

CASSIE:  I think that's a new concept for a lot of people.

KATE: Food sensitivities occupy your immune system.

CASSIE: That's a good way to say it. So, your system is so busy fighting off that food that you don't really consider to be any big strain on your immune system. But it is. And then your body isn't available to fight the flu germ. You’re very vulnerable. And certainly, it's not just the corn that you might be sensitive to. Maybe for you it's dairy that you're sensitive to or have an allergy to. Maybe it's gluten. Maybe it's eggs. I think that's what you were kind of alluding to with that earlier caller because an egg allergy or an egg sensitivity is actually pretty common. But, whatever it is that you have an allergy or an intolerance or a sensitivity to, just avoid it.

KATE:  Yeah. And you'll really be glad you did when spring arrives and you've gotten through cold and flu season unscathed. Yes, it's worth it. Cassie, what do you say we wrap up our conversation here this morning with some final tips for staying healthy when everyone around you is getting sick?

CASSIE: Yeah, let's give that final tip number five as we round out the hour. And it's one that I am betting all of our Dishing Up Nutrition groupies have probably guessed by now. They know this one in and out. And that tip is use the healing power of real food to support your immune system. In other words, choose foods everyday that give you great germ-fighting power and avoid those high carbohydrate, high sugar foods and drinks that nearly paralyze your immune system.

KATE:  Sounds great over those radio waves, but how can our listeners actually put that into practice?

CASSIE: Well, perfect lead in for what I was hoping to do next, which is to give out some meal and snack ideas that will really help build your immune system rather than tear it down. And I tell you, if we have said it once on this show, we've said it a thousand times on this show. Every time you stop to eat you want to get the magic number three: animal protein, healthy carbohydrate, healthy fat. And that protein piece is so important and I think we have an example to give. A good breakfast example is turkey breakfast sausage.

KATE: Excellent. What happens is you eat it. It's really a simple process. Your body breaks it down into what are amino acids. And those amino acids are then used to make plenty of white blood cells. Those are the cells that defend you against the flus and the viruses. So that's what we're after here.

CASSIE: Right. So, if you had a three or four ounce serving of turkey breakfast sausage for breakfast and maybe some sweet potato wedges on the side, that's a great recipe that's on our website. And when I make it at dinner I triple it or quadruple it so I have leftovers for breakfast.

KATE:  That’s very easy.

CASSIE: And that's roasted in healthy fats so you have the magic number three. I was hoping to give more real meal ideas but we are coming up against the clock, so we’ll have to save that for another show.

Just to recap our tips for staying healthy as we round out cold and flu season. First, get at least eight hours of sleep each night. For kids, 9 to 10 hours. Second, don't skip meals.

KATE: And our third tip is to avoid those high carbohydrate, high sugar foods and drinks. These foods actually slow down and paralyze your immune system for hours. And then our fourth tip is if there is a food or several foods that you've got a sensitivity to or maybe you have a true allergy to, just say no. Please avoid them.

CASSIE:  And finally, do eat healthy, real food in balance to support a strong immune system. And with that said, thank you so much for tuning into Dishing Up Nutrition today. If you found this show valuable, please share it with a friend or a family member. Remember, our message each week is to explain how eating real food in balance supports your health and your well-being. It's a very simple message, but a powerful, life changing message.

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