It’s that time of year again when everywhere you turn someone is sniffling, coughing or feeling sick. We are right in the middle of cold and flu season and the time to protect yourself is now. By properly feeding your immune system you can boost its power to fight off those viral invaders that unfortunately bring us down.
When it comes to eating foods to protect your immune system, there isn’t any one magic bullet that can do the trick. Instead, maintaining a diverse diet, rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lean protein is the body’s best defense against cold and flu bugs.
The following are foods to focus on to help boost your immune system when feeling under the weather.
Yogurt provides a healthy dose of good bacteria that can protect the body against harmful bacteria and infections. The good bacteria are called probiotics, and studies have shown eating yogurts rich in them can lead to an improved immune response by increasing the body’s white blood cell count.
This rich, flavorful spice has been used for centuries as part of traditional Chinese medicines, in addition to being used for cooking. It’s a polyphenol with strong cold and flu-fighting properties. Turmeric is found naturally as the rhizome part of the turmeric plant and it looks very similar to ginger. The powdered spice is made by boiling, drying and grinding the root. The powder has antiseptic qualities when applied topically and often is used on cuts, burns and bruises.
Red Bell Peppers
Bell peppers are both low in calories and dense in nutrients. They are a good source of phytochemicals as well as beta carotenes and vitamin C. Red bell peppers have twice the vitamin C of most vitamin C-containing fruits and vegetables. Research indicates that increasing vitamin C intake can reduce the length of time cold symptoms last as well as reduce the severity of those symptoms.
Garlic is known for its cold-fighting abilities. It increases the potency of two important cells of the immune system: T-lymphocytes and macrophages. The immune-boosting properties of garlic appear to be due to its sulfur-containing compounds. You can eat it raw or cooked, so start adding it to your favorite foods today.
Tea is the most widely consumed beverage in the world, after water. Green tea is rich in polyphenols plant antioxidants as well as a number of other chemicals that can help protect the body against cold or flu.
Ginger is often recommended as a tea or a bath for those with a cold or flu because it is helpful in increasing sweat production, which may help us get rid of germs and sweat out toxins. Ginger has also been shown to reduce nausea and vomiting, making it a very useful food to have around when you have the flu.
Broccoli contains potent antioxidant compounds which help fight disease. It is an excellent and inexpensive source of vitamins A, C and E. In addition, broccoli is high in glucosinolates which stimulate the body’s immune system.
By adding these foods to your diet, you will immediately start to feel the positive effects of better protection for your health. Another way to prevent colds and flu this season and keep your immune system strong is Healthy Choice Naturals Immune Essentials which contains 20 all natural vitamins and herbs, specifically formulated to support your body with the nutritional support it needs to stay healthy.