Via Unsplash, Edited by Erin Kennedy
Fall has swept in with its chilly weather and rainy days. This change in season often brings an increase in colds and flus that can leave you feeling tired, worn out and depleted.
Thankfully, there are food-based options that are typically found right inside your refrigerator or cupboard that may help support the immune system and bring a healthy dose of prevention.
Sherry Torkos, an internationally known holistic pharmacist, co-author of Saving Women’s Hearts and author of The Canadian Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine, gave some expert advice when it came to her top five foods to have on hand this upcoming holiday season.
1) Omega-3-rich foods such as cold water fish, walnuts, flax seeds and chia seeds
Everyone knows of their incredible heart healthy benefits but Torkos further explained that they help lower inflammation, improve cognitive function and brain health, and can be important for mood and well-being.
“Keep these in mind for those suffering from seasonal affective disorder (SAD) as the days become dimmer,” she said, and added that omega-3 supplements have come a long way in improving taste and texture.
Torkos advises people to buy a good-quality pharmaceutical grade product that tests for pesticides and other toxins and warns that rancid oil will smell badly - which is your cue to toss it in the garbage.
2) Green Tea
This tea is a nice, warm alternative to coffee with plenty of health benefits. Torkos explained that green tea is high in flavonoids and full of antioxidants. Its active ingredient EGCG could be helpful with regulating body weight, and is supportive of the immune system including potential cancer risk reduction.
Research has shown that it helps protect the skin from ultraviolet damage and is heart healthy. While drinking green tea is helpful, Torkos said that some studies recommend up to 10 cups per day to get the desired effect which is a lot to consume. A supplement that is free of pesticides and solvents is ideal.