7 Immune Boosting Foods to Fight the Flu
Nobody likes to be sick. And the flu can be one of the most miserable illnesses to get. In addition to the constant discomfort, body aches, fever, and chills, the flu can also be deadly.
As we’re now in peak flu season, it’s best to be prepared. And while the flu vaccine is the best way to safeguard yourself and loved ones from the flu, you can also take extra precaution by keeping your immune system strong and active.
Check out this list of immune boosting foods to make sure you are checking all of your bases in flu fighting and prevention.
While most people appreciate a little garlic as seasoning in their foods, many probably don’t realise all of the antimicrobial and antibacterial properties that garlic contains.
Doctors advocate that garlic helps rid the body of toxins, bacteria, and viruses. With that, recent research shows that people taking garlic supplements experienced fewer and less severe colds.
And while taking garlic supplements is definitely an option, you will get the best benefits by eating garlic itself.
Ginger is another food item that you are probably more familiar with as a garnish or flavouring for other dishes. And while ginger is delicious, it’s more than just a palate cleansing or flavour-enhancing additive.
Ginger is a powerful antioxidant that is known to help cleanse the colon and protect the stomach. It can also help fight inflammation and is, therefore, great for sore, irritated, or swollen throats.
In addition to helping sooth in times of soreness and sickness, ginger should also be used as a preventative measure. Drinking ginger tea or taking ginger supplements can help build your immune system to stop you from getting sick in the first place.
Turmeric is rising in popularity because of its vast health benefits and its wonderful taste. Some have even gone so far as to dub this yellow spice as one of the newest superfoods.
It’s high in antioxidants and contains natural anti-inflammatory properties. With that, it is known to help clear the body of toxins and is beneficial for those looking to avoid illnesses, like the flu.
In fact, some studies suggest that people who consume turmeric regularly are less susceptible to common illnesses like the cold and flu.
While many people are just starting to realise the health benefits of turmeric, kale rose to popularity as a superfood a few years ago.
Many are already familiar with this inexpensive, easy to make, vitamin-rich food, but fewer realise that kale is also helpful in boosting the immune system.
Kale is such a powerful immune system builder and flu fighter because it is very rich in vitamin C.
You can even further the power of kale by cooking it with other immune boosting supplements such as garlic or turmeric.
Other dark leafy greens are also beneficial in protecting the body against the flu and other illnesses. The key is to ensure that you are eating dark green leaves for a higher nutrient content.
The temperatures and climate that surround flu season create the perfect environment for getting sick. They are colder, darker, and provide less vitamin D. As vitamin D is key in fighting off illnesses, less of it means you have a greater chance of catching the flu.
That’s where salmon comes in.
Salmon is a vitamin D rich food that can help fill the void left by longer nights and cooler temperatures. And, research shows that people with adequate amounts of vitamin D get fewer respiratory infections and other illnesses that are related to the flu.
Getting enough vitamin D can also help you feel better sooner, if you do happen to get sick.
As it turns out, chicken soup is good for the soul and good for the immune system.
Chicken soup is filled with vitamin-rich vegetables that can help boost your immune system. Also, the chicken in the soup is protein rich – and antibodies and immune system cells need protein in order to build body tissue, repair body tissue, and fight infections.
Furthermore, chicken soup can help you heal faster if you do fall ill. The warm broth can help loosen mucus to clear the body. It also contains acid cysteine, which is an amino acid that resembles a drug used to treat bronchitis.
Pumpkin seeds might seem like an unusual addition to this list, but these small nuggets are full of goodness to help you ward off the flu.
What is that goodness?
Zinc is an essential mineral that can really help if you start to feel sick. It works by supporting your immune system and helps to strengthen immune system cells.