Cold and flu season comes around every year and as always it is vital to take proper precautions to prevent illness for yourself and to unwittingly spread a virus to others. Hand washing, covering coughs and sneezes, or staying home when feeling sick are some ways to help reduce the spread. While not getting sick is everyone’s goal; a preventative diet to boost immune health can help significantly.
Food options to increase immunity and help prevent cold and flu include the following seven foods:
Studies show numerous health benefits in including ginger in one’s diet. The benefits range from digestive health to circulation improvement, but it is the impact on immunity that stands above all. Ginger serves as an anti-microbial and anti-inflammatory and can aid in stopping the spread of diseased cells in the body, all of which can aid in negating the impact of the cold or flu viruses.
Vitamin C may be the most powerful natural vitamin immune booster. There are some very detailed scientific reasons behind this regarding T Cells and phagocytes and the production of white blood cells. For our purposes, a heavy dose of citrus fruits such as oranges, limes, grapefruits, and tangerines is essential to infusing vitamin C and building core immune health.
Citrus gets most of the attention for being a rich source of vitamin C, but one cup of strawberries possess nearly 100% of suggested daily nutritional value. Vitamin C is explicitly known to boost immunity, especially during cold and flu season.
The obvious impact of lemons on immunity is vitamin C, but less well-known is that they also contain elevated levels of zinc. Vitamin C and zinc have been specifically studied together for their effect on immune response and have been shown to help the body resist infectious disease or reduce the severity of infection if it is not fended off entirely.
For optimal immune-boosting, a mixed selection of dark berries is most effective. From blueberries to blackberries, acai berries to elderberries the specific benefits can vary, but they all have antioxidants that provide a big immunity punch. Just what the doctor orders for the cold and flu season.
6. Chicken soup
The old standby is not an old wive’s tale with regard to chicken soup’s impact on health. Old-fashioned chicken soup is a good source of protein, which can help build and repair tissues that support a healthy immune system. Soup also quite simply helps with hydration. And if you do get a cold or flu it’s the best comfort food there is and will help keep up your strength.
Load up your soups with healthy amounts of garlic to tempt the palate and enhance wellness in the process. Garlic is another cell booster, in particular virus-fighting T-cells. Adding garlic into your daily diet can be an important part of fortifying the body’s defenses, and if not entirely eliminate getting a cold or flu, at least reduce its severity.