With predictions of this year having one of the worst flu seasons in history, we've got some suggestions for virus-fighting foods in the supermarket.
This flu season is one for the books! With people across the country falling ill, some related deaths, schools closing to prevent outbreaks, and poor performance in effectiveness from this year’s flu shots, it’s more important than ever to feed your body with immune system-building foods. We've got some suggestions on foods to battle the flu.
Kiwi - This fruit is jam-packed with Vitamin C, which is believed to help during a cold or flu primarily because it is necessary inside our white blood cells, who's function it is to “devour” invaders (phagocytosis). Research suggests that supplementing with vitamin C may help to enhance the white blood cell activity and mobilization. When our bodies are functioning optimally, white blood cells contain high concentrations of vitamin C, during infection these levels decrease, and then return to normal after recovery. High doses of vitamin C may be able to restore levels to normal during an infection.
Mushrooms - In case you hadn’t noticed there’s been a bit of a mushroom boom. And it’s largely related to the move toward more plant-based food choices and the scientific evidence backing the nutritional benefits of this wide variety of fungi. Mushrooms contain a carbohydrate called glucan that has been proven to boost your immune system and fight off the flu.
Garlic - Everyone has heard that garlic has many health benefits; each clove is full of health-protective nutrients, including manganese, vitamins C and B6, and garlic is thought to have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that may contribute to heart health by reducing cholesterol levels. It also contains prebiotics which are beneficial for gut health. And it can also boost your immune system and prevent cold and flu. There’s compound called alliin in garlic, that when it is consumed has been shown to boost disease-fighting response of some white blood cells.
Water - We all know that water is essential for our bodies to function in a healthy way, but did you know it can be an amazing natural immune booster? Water helps carry oxygen to the cells, which leads to your systems functioning properly. It also helps to remove toxins built up in the system. Add a little lemon, and you’ll be adding vitamin C, helping digestion, and helping to improve liver function.
Pumpkin Seeds - These flat little seeds are packed with nutrition and easy to grab for a snack. They are a rich source of zinc for a healthy immune system, and only 1 oz contains 2mg of this mineral! Zinc is also known to improve sleep and mood, both important elements to preventing your body from becoming vulnerable to catching something. And you get a little extra help with your sleep with the tryptophan in these seeds.
Other ways to protect yourself from catching the flu and colds? Make sure you are washing your hands throughout the day for at least 15 seconds with soap and warm water, with a period of vigorous rubbing to send those viruses down the drain. Always cover your nose and mouth when you cough or sneeze, and encourage your children to do so as well. Teach them to cough into the crook of their arm. And avoid close contact with others when possible.
Stay healthy! Only 33 days until Spring!