You feel it when you step outside. You hear it in the hallways at work. You sense it in your child’s school.
Yep, that’s right. It’s cold and flu season. This season, we’re surrounded by the germs that come from the coughs and sneezes in our environment.
That’s why it’s so important to pay attention to your health this time of year.
And, while we’re talking about colds and flu, it’s especially important to keep your heart health in mind. Studies show that both heart attacks and strokes increase in the winter months.
Today, we’re going to give you some tips and strategies to keep in mind and point out ideas to help you focus on eating smartly (and deliciously) throughout this sneezy and wheezy season.
Tips for cold and flu season
- A yearly flu shot can help guard against the contagious illness, which is caused by influenza viruses. Flu vaccines are created to combat the strains of flu expected to be circulating each year.
- If you do suspect you’ve been stricken with the flu, get to your healthcare provider early to get the treatment you need.
Especially if you are on blood pressure medication, these tips can help you keep blood pressure stable:
- Keep track of medication. Take your medication as prescribed by your doctor. The American Heart Association’s Check. Change. Control. Tracker can help by allowing you to set up text message reminders, track your blood pressure readings and connect with health care providers.
- Be wary of decongestants. Before you use an over-the-counter cold and flu medication, check to see if it contains a decongestant. These drugs, which are used to relieve a stuffy nose, can raise blood pressure. They may also make your prescribed blood pressure medication less effective. A decongestant should be used for only the shortest amount of time possible—and never by someone with severe or uncontrolled high blood pressure. If you have a stuffy nose, consider trying nasal saline, intranasal corticosteroids, or antihistamines.
A great way to take care of yourself this season is to eat well.
To give you comfort during this time of year, we will talk about five recipes that will warm your heart and give you the boost you need to get through this season.
Don’t you just love the slow cooker this time of year? The ingredients that slow cook all day become rich, flavorful, and oh-so-delicious. All you need to do with this recipe is pop your ingredients in the slow cooker, set it, and forget it! And, since this recipe calls for low-sodium chicken broth, you’ll be able to keep your sodium in check.
This slow cooker recipe offers you a vegetarian option! Full of hearty beans, this soup can be thrown in the slow cooker with minimal effort. Because it cooks slowly over time, the veggies get tender, the seasoning soaks into the broth, and the flavor is incredible.
What a comforting and easy way to get more whole grains in your life! This chicken and quinoa soup surprises you with freshness from snap peas and comforts with warm broth and hearty vegetables. This soup is perfect for a cold day when you need a nutritional boost.
Looking for a vegetarian option that is full of whole grains, colorful veggies, and flavorful herbs? Look no further than this veggie barley soup. Filled with chewy barley and a variety of vegetables, this speedy soup is perfect for a light vegetarian lunch or dinner on a chilly day.
Need a flavor boost to kick you into gear? Look no further than this chicken tortilla soup. It’s full of flavors from the garlic, ancho powder, and fresh cilantro. You’ll warm right up with this comforting, spicy soup.
What strategies are you using to get through cold and flu season?