A new summer destination – good health!

Since we are limited in our vacation options, consider taking this summer to begin to prepare your body for the upcoming fall/winter flu season. And, while you are doing that you will also be giving your body strength should the COVID-19* find its way to your home.

Strengthening your immune system is easier to do when local fresh fruits and vegetables are available. Summer is a great season to have a variety available. By buying local, these foods will provide you with more nutrition than foods that are picked early and attempt to ripen in transit.

According to Jeff Moyer, CEO of Rodale Institute, “Our diet is one of the simplest ways to improve our health and take control over our lives. And yet, nutrition is roundly downplayed in the medical community.” And, for those of us in the 60+ age range, our immune systems are not as efficient as when we were younger. Therefore, a little help would be beneficial to our health.

Although a healthy body requires the full range of vitamins and minerals, our immune system can use extra support in these crazy times through the herbs and foods we consume.

For instance, common kitchen herbs, such as basil, sage, oregano, rosemary and fennel can help provide support against virus’. And, other herbs that can lend a hand in the virus battle include: echinacea, elderberry, ginger and peppermint. These kitchen herbs can become spices to your meals and some may even work well as a tea, tincture or extract. Specific quantities will vary with the herb and situation. Consult with a healthcare professional regarding the latter.

Foods that you may want to include:
Fruits
citrus such as oranges, lemons, limes, tangerines – they are rich in vitamin C, a vitamin that we can’t store
kiwi
Vegetables
red bell peppers ( C)
spinach ( C)
garlic
dark, leafy green (E) kale, collard, Swiss chard, argula
Nuts/Seeds
almonds ( E)
sunflower ( B-6, E)

For more information: https://www.healthline.com/health/food-nutrition/foods-that-boost-the-immune-system

There is no guarantee on the timing of a COVID-19 vaccine…some reports indicate later in 2020; others report late 2021 and even 2022. There is still much about this virus that we are learning. Therefore, our best “defense, is a good offense” – help your body to get in its best health.

In addition to food and spice choices, Beverly Merz, Executive Editor, Harvard Women’s Health Watch, suggests the following:

● Take steps to avoid infection, such as washing your hands frequently and cooking meats thoroughly (and don’t forget, social distancing!).
● Stay up to date with recommended immunizations.
● Don’t smoke.
● Exercise regularly. Try to get 150 minutes of moderate activity a week.
● Maintain a healthy weight.
● Control your blood pressure.
● If you drink alcohol, do so only in moderation.
● Get adequate sleep.
● Get regular medical screening tests for people in your age group and risk category

For more detail: https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/how-to-boost-your-immune-system
Your Journey to Aging Well, Chapter 1 – Body Systems