Home Immunity Stay ahead of the flu with advice from a local dietitian

Stay ahead of the flu with advice from a local dietitian

Jessica Corner provided this Citrus and Beet Salad Recipe.
  • Jessica Corner is a registered dietitian at Loblaws in Bowmanville.

The dreaded flu season is coming, and now is a good time to start preparing your defense systems. Immunity is your body’s ability to prevent the invasion of pathogens, including bacteria, viruses, and other foreign disease-causing substances.

There are several easy ways to strengthen your body’s defense system and be healthier this fall. If you’re not sure where to start, here are some tips recommended by your local Loblaws dietitian.

Eat a variety of foods – It is important to ensure that your body receives an adequate supply of vitamins and minerals. The best way to do this is to eat a diet rich in fruits, vegetables and whole grains. A high-fiber, plant-based diet with lots of immune-supporting nutrients can also help build and maintain a strong immune system. Immune support nutrients can be found in plant foods, such as sweet potatoes, spinach, carrots, mango, and broccoli, to name a few. If you are concerned about achieving adequate amounts of nutrients in your diet, talk to your dietitian about practical strategies that will work for your lifestyle.

Include probiotic foods in your diet – Foods like kefir and probiotic yogurt contain bacteria, which can help aid your immune response. I like to recommend a diet-focused approach when it comes to including probiotics in your day. By consuming foods rich in probiotics, you will reap the benefits of other food nutrients, such as protein and calcium, found in kefir and probiotic yogurt.

Stay hydrated – Keeping your body hydrated is an important step in maintaining a strong immune system. Water, in particular, plays a major role in keeping our defense systems functioning. Every cell in our body needs water to do its job, so if we’re dehydrated, our immune system might start to slow down. One way to determine if your hydration status is adequate is to pay attention to the color of your urine. Pale yellow or a light straw color usually indicates good hydration (please note that certain vitamins, minerals and medications can affect the color of your urine).

Get your flu shot – In addition to leading a well-balanced life that includes physical activity and a variety of nutrients from food, the best way to protect yourself and your loved ones is to get your flu shot every year. You can get your flu shot at your local Loblaws pharmacy when they become available to reduce your risk of catching the flu this season.



• Small ruby ​​red grapefruit, peeled

• 1 organic navel orange

• 16 sliced ​​no-name beets, drained

• 4 cups (1 L) PC Organics baby spinach

• 1/4 cup (50 mL) PC Blue Menu Salad Dressing lemon poppy seed


1. Holding the grapefruit on its side on a cutting board, cut it into eight slices. Repeat with orange, cutting into eight thin slices. Using 2 orange slices, 2 grapefruit slices and 4 beet slices for each of 4 salad plates, arrange the slices on plates in a large circle, overlapping them slightly and alternating beets and citrus.

2. Gently toss the spinach with 2 tbsp. (25 ml) vinaigrette. Place a quarter in the center of each plate over the beets and citrus fruits. Sprinkle the 2 tbsp. (25 mL) remaining dressing over fruit. Serve immediately, garnished with red onion if desired.

Jessica Corner is a registered dietitian at Loblaws in Bowmanville. She assists clients by encouraging balanced eating habits with gentle nutritional practices. She is a non-dietary dietitian who advocates for freedom from dietary restriction. Contact her at [email protected] or 905-442-8727.