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Eating well during cold and flu season


As we fall back into the cooler months, it is time to prepare for the dreaded cold and flu season. This is especially important for young families, as back to school equals back to germs! Studies show that school children bring germs home from school and spread them to their parents and siblings, causing sickness of all kinds – this is sometimes referred to as the “Fall Spike”. Both colds and flu are caused by a virus, but the flu can make you sicker than a cold. So how can we avoid being part of the Fall Spike, and stay well during the fall and winter months?

From the food aisles to the pharmacy, Provigo Le Marché Kirkland has what you need to help you maintain your family’s health during this flu season. There are three easy tips to help protect yourself and your family this fall: eat well, wash your hands often, and get the flu shot. The flu shot is the best way to prevent the flu, and will be available on November 7th, 18th and 21st through your in-store pharmacists at Provigo Le Marché Kirkland. A healthy diet is also key in protecting your body against cold and flu. Here are some nutrients that contribute to good overall and immune health:

Vitamin C is our best friend when it comes to maintaining good health. Since our bodies do not store vitamin C, we need to eat foods rich in this vitamin every day! Fruits and vegetables are packed with vitamin C, but some of the best food sources are sweet peppers, strawberries, kiwi, oranges and broccoli.

Zinc is a mineral that helps maintain immune function and can be found in foods like seafood, beef, pumpkin seeds and baked beans. One note: if you are thinking about taking a zinc supplement rather than getting zinc from whole foods, first speak to one of our in-store pharmacists or to your doctor, as too much zinc may be harmful.

Vitamin A also helps to maintain immune function and plays a role in maintaining overall health. Look to include fall favorites that are great sources of vitamin A in your daily diet, such as sweet potato, pumpkin, butternut squash, carrots and kale.

Do you need ideas for introducing some of these vitamin-rich foods into your family meals? Start with this flavourful sweet potato and carrot miso soup. The mighty soybean produces many products, including a soybean paste called miso that is high in protein, vitamins and minerals. A sweet white miso paste is used in this vegan soup. Serve it with bread and a handful of roasted chickpeas to make it a meal!


Sweet Potato and Carrot Miso Sou


1 Tbsp (15ml) canola oil

3 medium carrots, sliced in coins

1 large onion, roughly chopped

1 sweet potato, peeled and sliced in coins

4 cloves garlic, peeled

2 cups (500ml) vegetable broth

¼ cup (50ml) white miso paste

¼ tsp (1ml) salt

2 tsp (10ml) sesame oil



  1. Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Cook carrots, onion, sweet potato and garlic for 5 to 6 minutes, stirring often, or until slightly softened. Pour in broth and 3 cups (750ml) water; bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low; cover and simmer for 10 to 13 minutes or until the vegetables are very soft.
  2. Stir in miso and salt; continue to cook for 2 minutes. Working in batches, puree soup in blender until smooth. Return to saucepan; drizzle in sesame oil. To serve, garnish with finely chopping green onion and additional sesame oil, if desired.


Serves: 8

Per serving: 120 calories;  560mg sodium;  22g carbohydrates;  4g fibre;  3g protein;  3g fat (0.3 saturated fat)

Recipe source: pc.ca


Geneviève Ledoux is a Registered Dietitian with Provigo Le Marché in Kirkland.

Contact Geneviève Ledoux by phone at 514-826-4280 or by email at Genevieve.ledoux@provigo.ca

By: Geneviève ledoux

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