It’s that time of year when even though the weather has been quite mild (so far) many of the people around you seem to be doing an awful lot of sniffling and snuffling. You may even have been fighting off a cold yourself, in between trying to avoid catching someone else’s too.
Many people put the timing of ‘cold season’ down to the temperature drops. But there is more to it than that. Did you ever stop to think that cold season pretty much coincides with the time of year – the winter holiday season from Thanksgiving to New Year’s – when we all tend to eat the most “because-it’s-the-holidays” sweets and other indulgences?
The Sugar Factor
This is actually more than just an odd coincidence though; it’s medical science. What supplement do you generally reach for to help ward of winter colds and flus? Vitamin C right? And that’s a great idea, as Vitamin C’s antioxidant powers help support healthy white blood cell growth and boosts the immune system.
The problem is that sugar and vitamin C do not ‘play well together’. Excess sugar inhibits white blood cell function, making them sluggish and less able to fight bacteria. At the same time the glucose from sugar and the asorbic acid in Vitamin C compete with one another and the glucose will often win. And the end result of all of this is a compromised immune system and a body – a human body – that is more susceptible to colds and flus.
However, we don’t want to play The Grinch Who Stole Christmas and insist you pass on every holiday treat to the point where your family and friends start calling you Scrooge behind your back. Here’s some simple suggestions to help you limit your sugar intake over the holidays and help your immune system stay strong while also still allowing yourself some small holiday indulgences.
Skip the Breakfast Pastries
This is the time of year when double chocolate filled croissants and mega sized apple danishes seem to appear everywhere and boy do they go well with on of those fancy big (or venti if you frequent a certain popular coffee shop) holiday lattes, the ones wit all of the cream and the sugar and the sprinkles…..
However starting your day this way is not only far too sugary and calorific to be healthy it’s also almost certainly going to lead to a sugar crash in the afternoon that will slow down all of your holiday plans. If you want a good warming start to the day that will energize you as well try a bowl of oatmeal – you can flavor it with cinnamon or nutmeg to be festive – and a nice cup of tea instead.
Cook with Less Sugar
If you resolve to bake your own holiday treats this year you will be able to take control of the ingredients, and a few simple tweaks can make a big difference. For example stevia and agave are both natural sweeteners that can be used in place of traditional sugar that still taste great and these days can be found on the supermarket shelves right next to all of the ‘regular’ stuff’.
Watch Your Alcohol Intake – There is little point in patting yourself on the back for turning don that big slice of cake, as delicious as it looked, if you then turn around and guzzle down sugar laden wine or beer all evening (yes, beer is crammed full of the stuff) Limit your alcohol intake and for every glass you do drink of the hard stuff drink a glass of water too.
Get a Vitamin C Boost
Remember that Vitamin C you need to help boost your immune system? You can actually incorporate it into your holiday menu with relative ease. Looking for great side dishes for your holiday festivities? Roasted red peppers and sautéed Brussels sprouts are both tasty choices that are also Vitamin C packed. Shrimp are too, and they make great holiday appetizers. And if you must drink the hard stuff occasionally then you could swap your regular tipple for a Screwdriver – that’s vodka and orange juice for the layman – and even get a nice Vitamin C boost that way.
We are taking new patients and offering free consultations, and that way we find out if you are someone we can help before going any further. Call us today for a free consultation at (913)-953-5959 or CLICK HERE for more information about our Overland Park chiropractic office.