With each day the weather gets colder, and thoughts turn to bundling up and hunkering down. But as the temperature drops, we are reminded that flu season is right around the corner.

“There are some really simple ways to help your family fight the flu this winter,” explains Laura Weyland, a pharmacist with Shoppers Drug Mart. “People don’t have to wait it out and hope for the best. There are three easy tips to help keep you healthy this year: eat well, wash your hands frequently, and get the flu shot.”

“While it’s important to make healthy food choices all year, it’s also a good idea to look at what you eat during flu season to ensure you’re getting the nutrients your body needs,” says Laura McCann, a registered dietitian with Loblaws. “Vitamins C and E are antioxidants for the maintenance of good health while zinc supplements have been proven to help maintain immune function. Foods that contain an abundance of these are good to look for during your grocery shop.”

Below are a few foods that will help you maintain a healthy diet:

• Citrus Fruit – Not only are citrus fruits a good source of vitamin C, they’re naturally delicious. If fresh fruit is not an option, look for fresh or frozen 100% fruit juice.

• Beans and Legumes – Boost your zinc intake by including a variety of beans and legumes in your diet.

Nuts and Seeds – A variety of nuts and seeds during cold and flu season help you benefit from vitamin E – a dietary antioxidant that helps in the maintenance of good health.

Garlic – Raw garlic has been traditionally used in herbal medicine for hundreds of years to help relieve the symptoms associated with upper respiratory tract infections and catarrhal conditions.

To help protect your family, make sure everyone gets a flu shot. Flu shots are available at Shoppers Drug Mart or at your local grocery store pharmacy.

Used with permission from www.newscanada.com