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6 picks to help you survive cold season
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Sondra E. Z. Hines, AILT, is an adjunct professor of health & wellness and is certified to teach group fitness exercise and Zumba. Wednesday Wellness - Fitness News You Can Use is published weekly. Email: sondraezhines@yahoo.com.

As a fitness professional, it’s important that I stay healthy.

Last week, at the end of teaching an aerobics class, I felt a tickle in my throat, an indicator that I may have picked up a cold virus. Instead of darting to a drugstore, I reached for some home remedies.

Here are six picks to help you survive the upcoming cold season:

1. Hot Tea with Honey & Lemon – While exercising, you should always drink plenty of liquids to stay hydrated. However one hot liquid is especially effective when fighting a cold -- black tea. The tea aids in soothing a sore throat and contains interferon, which is known to fight viruses. Punch up the tea potency by adding honey and lemon, (contains vitamin C).

2. Vitamin C – Drinking plenty of OJ is great when fighting a cold and for overall health. Most of you already know oranges are loaded with Vitamin C. Did you know that Vitamin C is known to help shorten a cold and can also be a decongestant? Foods rich in Vitamin C include tomatoes, brussel sprouts, kale, broccoli, cauliflower, bell peppers, kiwi, pineapples, and strawberries.

3. Hot chili peppers – Contain capsaicin, a natural compound that provides heat and spiciness. Capsaicin is also known to thin mucus, (a runny nose), helping you breathe better, allowing the nasal passages to get rid of germs.

4. Chicken Soup – A scientist at the University of Nebraska Medical Center confirms the old wife’s tale that chicken soup contains anti-inflammatory properties that explains why it soothes sore throats and eases the misery of colds and flu. Add vegetables and punch up the nutrients. Although homemade soup is always best, if eating canned soup, select varieties low in sodium to avoid excess salt.

5. Garlic & Ginger – My mom introduced me to garlic as a child to ward off colds. Garlic boosts the immune system, and ginger helps fight nausea, often associated with colds and/or the flu. I discovered ginger’s healing powers during a trip to Jamaica, when I experienced an upset stomach. Try adding both to foods, e.g. soups, baked foods, (i.e. ginger chicken). I steep fresh ginger in hot water and sip on ginger tea.

6. 100% Whole Grains – These foods contain selenium, zinc and beta glucan, all of which help support the immune system. I love a warm bowl of oatmeal (topped with fruit) when temperatures drop.

As for exercising, listen to your body. If you are feeling fatigue, take a break, get plenty of rest and resume once you feel stronger. Colds can be taxing on the body. When in doubt, consult a physician.

THIS WEEK’S FIT TIP: The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics offers three healthy breakfast suggestions: lean protein, (Canadian bacon, eggs, cheese, peanut butter or yogurt), whole-grain carbohydrates (whole-grain cereal, bread, waffle, pancake or oatmeal) and fruits/vegetables (top yogurt with fruit or chop up veggies to add to an omelet).

Next week in Wednesday Wellness, meet breast cancer survivor Ursula Strong.

Until, next time, I wish you good health and nutritional wellness!
Editors Note: For more health/fitness-related tales, tips and testimonials, visit Qcitymetro's health page at www.qcitymetro.com/health.

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October 6, 2015
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