It’s cold outside, but don’t catch it.

Early spring in the Bay Area can be marked with brisk mornings, deceitful warm afternoons and freezing cold nights, with a temperature difference of more than 20F degrees. It is the cold catching season now. The chinese old school method to stay away from it is to “bundle up in spring”, which simply means wrap yourself with clothes as much as possible. That was how I grew up with.

Besides bundle up and chasing the sun, we can do more than that. Our body are naturally built with an effective and efficient system for staying healthy-the immune system, both innate and acquired. The innate part of immune system consists of skins, cell membranes, body temperature, which physically block the intruders like bacteria and virus. We also have innate killer cells that destroy the intruders when we forgot to wash hands or forgot to bring a jacket for the night. If the innate fighters fail, the body calls for the acquired immune system. If the acquired immune system fails, we catch the cold. 

So my method to stay away from the intruders is to cheer up the immune system and let the body itself take care of the rest. It’s very simple, just focus on three key points: Nutrition, Exercise, and Relax.

I highly recommend getting the nutrition part done, particularly the Vitamin part, by eating natural food. No need to buy fancy supplements. Here is the A,B,C,D, and E:

Vitamin A

What to eat: Vit.A fortified milk, cheese, egg, liver; dark green leafy vegetables, and orange/red foods such as apricots, carrots, sweet potato, squash. Reason: Need for proper function of the immune system, such as enhances lymphocyte function and fights against carcinogens.

Vitamin B group

What to eat: Whole grains, potatoes, beans. Reason: B Vitamins are the humble noble “worker bees” of the whole vitamin world.

Vitamin C

What to eat: Brussels sprouts, broccoli, green pepper, oranges, lemons, strawberry. Reason: Serves as an antioxidant. Resists infections, heals wounds, aids in iron absorption.

Vitamin D

What to eat: Oysters, salmon, sardines, Vit.D fortified milk and juice, or just stay in sunshine without sunscreen for 10-15 minutes! It’s that easy. Reason: Besides maintain adequate calcium in blood, it could almost affect all tissues of the body.

Vitamin E

What to eat: Plant/vegetable oils, seeds, and nuts. Reason: Also an antioxidant, helps protect red blood cells, muscles, and other tissues from free radical damage.

Now, I have a confession to make here: Hero has been sick all this week. Yes, it’s that nasty winter cold and he just got lucky. I feel partially responsible for that since I am in charge of everything he eats. In his single days, he doesn’t eat breakfast except a cup of milk for the whole morning. Later, he will have white rice with a side of stir fried vegetable for lunch. In the afternoon, he usually gets sleepy until 5 o’clock when hunger kicks in. During 5 to 7, he is basically starving to death. After one step at home, he rushes into kitchen starting to boil a handful dry noodles in water, throwing in couple pieces of greens and generous amount of red chili sauce, binge, stuffed, and done. According to him, that was usually how he dealt with three meals of the day.

Now, talking about eating with a future dietitian, still couldn’t prevent somebody from catching cold? I know… well… what can I say, human body is a wonderland. Sometimes, we just have no idea about it whatsoever.

Maybe the immune system just want couple days off.

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