Keeping healthy is important at any time of year, but it is especially important during the chillier months of winter. As you bundle up to fight the cold, adding a few layers of protection inside your body can help you be ready for whatever element may come your way – so you can worry less. Here are some tips:

Get a Boost from Broth

There’s a reason why chicken soup might be good for more than the soul and why people have used it for centuries at the first sign of getting sick. When the body experiences cold-like symptoms, it goes through an inflammatory response. Studies, such as the one published in the journal CHEST, suggest chicken soup may contain a number of substances with beneficial medicinal activity that can help fight inflammation.

Vie for More Natural Vitamins

Certain foods are packed with nutrients like zinc and vitamins C and E that have been shown in research time and again to help maintain a healthy immune system. If you need more vitamin C, squeeze in citrus foods like oranges and grapefruit. Feeling tropical? Get some guava.

But it’s not just fruit – veggies like broccoli and peppers are also at the top of the list compiled by Healthline. 

Cuddle Up with Cocoa Flavanols

Cocoa flavanols have been shown to keep the entire body healthy by increasing its supply of nitric oxide. Nitric oxide is a supermolecule that allows arteries to relax and widen, promoting healthy blood flow throughout your body. When blood is flowing, it delivers needed oxygen and nutrients to every single organ, muscle, tissue and cell – including your brain and your heart – so they stay nourished. Unfortunately, cocoa flavanols are destroyed by most chocolate and cocoa powder processing, so the best way to get a beneficial amount in your daily diet is through specially-formulated supplements such as CocoaVia™ products, which have a guaranteed high amount of cocoa flavanols with very few calories, and have been independently verified by The unsweetened dark chocolate powder can be added to beverages like coffee or protein shakes and makes for a delicious and heart-healthy hot cocoa when added to hot milk.

Warm Up with a Workout

Winter may feel like a time to slow down, but it’s important to keep working out when you’re feeling good. The American College of Sports Medicine suggests that whole-body, dynamic, cardio-building exercise may help protect you from getting sick. And, if you do get sick, exercising regularly may also play a role in helping you recover. If it’s too cold outside, you can still get an amazing workout in the comfort of your home with minimal equipment. Climb some stairs. Dance in your socks! Lots of inspirational videos can be found on social media or through fitness apps.

Through these simple tips, you can worry less this winter and look forward to adding even more spring in your step. Of course, before changing any part of your diet or exercise program it’s a good idea to discuss with a medical professional that understands your body. (SP)