We're hearing it all over the news. This is the worst flu season EVER! Now, that's enough to scare anyone...flu vaccine or not! But now that we're at the height of the season there are some things you, and your family, can eat to help support your immune system.
On a recent private shopping tour, (yes, that sounds pretty good, right?) Nema McGlynn, a Registered Dietitian with Loblaws, mentioned that eating plenty of fruits and vegetables is key during the winter season to support a healthy immune system. "Go for bright colours like oranges and greens are best to help your body boost immunity anytime of the year but particularly in the winter months when the flu is at it's prime," says McGlynn. "Also, when you can, pick whole veggies and fruits with skin still intact, like a regular bag of carrots and peel the skin off yourself at home. This will keep the nutrients longer not to mention it's more cost efficient than pre-peeled carrots."
But of course, sometimes we enjoy the convenience of pre-washed and ready to eat items. "That's ok as we all lead busy lives and moms are rushing to get the kids out the door for hockey or swimming lessons. The veggies that are ready prepared are great on the go and if you need to make a quick dinner. I love the PC Blue Menu Crab Cakes or our PC Blue Menu Lean Italian Meatballs that are healthier convenience food options, just make sure you add a side of veg. even if it's as fast as a salad or cut up veggies," says McGlynn. "Baby cucumbers are a real hit too and easy for kids to pick up and just eat. They are sweet this time of year."
So, what should you be shopping for to support your family's healthy immune system during this nasty flu season? Here's a great guideline to print off for your next grocery shopping list!
*note PCBM : PC Blue Menu
As I was shopping with Nema, I noticed specially highlighted items around the store that has received special signage as a Dietician selection. In addition, you may have noticed little gold stars on the shelf tags? These are Guiding Stars, an innovative program that started in Loblaws in August 2012 to help you make faster and easier healthier food choices in the grocery store. Guiding Stars provide at-a-glance nutritional ratings for foods.
One Guiding Star:
indicates good nutritional value
Two Guiding Stars:
indicate better nutritional value
Three Guiding Stars:
indicate the best nutritional value
Visit www.guidingstars.com for more information.
Now, you can speak with a registered dietitian at Loblaws. They are on staff and available for you to meet with to discuss dietary health needs including eating for sports training, diabetes, weight gain or loss. They also offer in-store tours and recommendations on balancing life and healthy eating. This service is complimentary but phone ahead to book an appointment at your nearest Loblaws. Visit their official website to find out if this service is available to you at www.loblaws.ca
Nema McGlynn is a Registered Dietitian with Loblaws at the Maple Leaf Gardens location in Toronto.
This post is not sponsored. I was invited to meet with Nema McGlynn at the beautiful Loblaws, Maple Leaf Gardens in Toronto.