The time for colds and the flu is swiftly approaching. Normally, after allergy season is fully over, I know it’s time for cold and flu season. And while I’m grateful that I don’t have to deal with allergies until things start blooming again, sometimes I’d rather deal with my allergies than get a cold or the flu. But why is that? Well, for one, I hate being sick. It drags down my day, offsets my mood, and just isn’t fun to deal with. Because of that, I start taking whatever precautions I can to help stave off illness. Frequent hand washing, carrying hand sanitizer, and changing my diet. I was doing a little research and I’ve come across 8 superfoods to help fight colds and the flu. Most of them are already in my diet in some form, so I hope these extra steps will help.
Superfoods to Help During Cold and Flu Season
If you’re wondering what you can do to naturally boost your immunity and prepare your body’s defenses, study the foods you’re eating, look at your family’s meals, and make the changes needed to ensure everyone is eating a well-balanced diet abundant in nutrient-dense fruits and vegetables, low-fat proteins, and complex carbohydrates.
Another important component of your anti-cold defense system is water. When your body is dehydrated, it’s at an increased risk of germs latching on and not letting go. So be sure to drink plenty of water and decaffeinated drinks to help your body stay hydrated and ready.
- Just one cup of yogurt a day may work to keep the gastrointestinal track healthier, which can help ward off colds. It has to be yogurt with live cultures, as this is the key ingredient that helps keep the GI track ready to rumble. And an added bonus to eating yogurt – recent studies suggest regular dairy consumption helps you lose weight or maintain a healthy weight.
- Garlic contains allicin, an antibiotic that has been shown to prevent complications from a cold in some research. Garlic can be added to many of your favorite dishes to spice them up and help you suit up to do battle against cold germs.
- It’s been said an apple a day keeps the doctor away. Well, so can an orange. One orange a day provides your recommended daily allowance of vitamin C. Oranges are also abundant in flavonoids, which helps your body’s cells regenerate and stay healthy and strong. Green bell peppers are the vegetable family’s best vitamin C source. Add them to a salad, or simply slice one up and eat it raw. Flavonoids are also found in peppers.
- Black currants are even richer in vitamin C than oranges, containing approximately three times the recommended daily intake for adults. It’s imperative that you get plenty of vitamin C since it helps prevent infections and helps keep the immune system healthy.
- Pork has high levels of zinc and selenium, both of which help keep your immune system strong. It’s also one of the best sources of B vitamins and contains only a little more total fat than beef. So be sure to include lots of pork entrees in your menu planning.
- Potatoes are one of the most affordable sources of vitamin C, and nicely complement any entree with their high levels of potassium and fiber. The skin contains the most fiber and the flesh just under the skin contains the most vitamin C. Fresh potatoes are the best source of vitamin C. Be careful of how you choose to prepare them, as soaking them in water robs them of their germ-busting vitamin C.
- Whole wheat pasta is also rich in niacin, fiber, and iron. Its complex carbohydrates are an essential part of a healthy diet that will keep your immune system strong. Simply substitute recipes calling for traditional pasta with the whole wheat variety instead for a delicious and nutritious twist on your favorite pasta dishes.
- Brussel sprouts are a great vegetable source of vitamin C, are high in fiber and contain lots of folate as well. They improve anticarcinogenic glucosinolates, which have important cancer-fighting properties. They’re a great addition in a stew to provide lots of fl-busting nutrients.
Which of these superfoods would you consider adding to your diet this cold and flu season?