With the holidays approaching, we hope you’ve already gotten your flu shot, or are about to. It’s our #1 way to help protect us against the flu bug this winter. But, as we all know, colds and flu can still get us, and even turn into something more serious.
Our immune systems are so important in fighting off these miserable viruses. Washing our hands, staying away from those that are sick as best we can, exercising, and eating the right foods can help tremendously in this ongoing fight, especially with the traveling we might be doing for Thanksgiving.
Turning our attention to eating the right foods, most of us know a lot of the foods that are good for our bodies. We know to get as many fruits and vegetables as we can, but there might be some types of foods that would surprise us that are good for staving off these pesky virus bugs.
Foods That Fight Colds and Flu
Amanda MacMillan of Health.com with the help of Karen Ansen, Registered Dietician, brings us a list of foods that are important to boosting our immune systems. We’ve heard that you are what you eat, and this list helps to define that:
- Fish – Oily fish (salmon, tuna, and mackerel) are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, helping to diminish inflammation in the body, which can go against the work of the immune system.
- Oysters – They contain zinc, a mineral that helps battle the common cold. Zinc supplements are an alternative, provided your physician agrees that you should take them.
- Garlic – This is more than just added flavor to food. It contains a compound that produces antioxidants.
- Anise Seeds – These seeds have antibacterial properties.
- Citrus Fruits – Vitamin C may not be as useful in preventing colds as first thought, but studies do show that fruits such as oranges and grapefruit can minimize the time that the cold lingers.
- Fennel – This herb in the carrot family has been shown to help with congestion and cough.
- Yogurt – Research has found that probiotics can lower the risk of upper respiratory infection.
- Tea – In addition to a hot cup of tea breaking up congestion, there are antioxidants in tea that greatly reduce risk of flu.
- Red Peppers – Again, these contain the important Vitamin C.
- Milk – The Vitamin D in milk can really bolster our immune system.
- Mushrooms – These contain potassium, B vitamins, and fiber.
- Skinless Turkey Breast – This is a good source of protein, and high on the list of flu fighters.
- Leafy Greens – The darker the greens are, the higher the nutrient content.
- Blueberries – These are “bite-sized immunity busters”. They contain the most antioxidants of any fresh fruit.
- Dark Chocolate – This should get your attention! Ounce for ounce, pure cocoa contains more disease-fighting antioxidants than most berries, and it contains zinc. So enjoy your chocolate while helping your health!
- Brazil Nuts – These contain protein, healthy fats, and selenium, a mineral that greatly helps to curb infections and flu. However, eat these sparingly, as one nut contains more than the daily requirement, and too many can have negative results.
- Carrots and Sweet Potatoes – These are rich in beta-carotene, which provides us with Vitamin A, an essential vitamin in bolstering the immune system.
- Sunflower Seeds – These are rich in Vitamin E.
- Oats – Oats contain a type of fiber called beta-glucan, which has immune-boosting properties.
Foods that Fight the Flu: Don’t Forget the Chicken Soup!
Some of these same foods are also mentioned in “7 Immunity-Boosting Foods to Fight Colds and Flu” by Christine Yu. She adds beef, turmeric, and good old fashioned chicken soup. There’s just nothing better than chicken soup – is there?
Many of these same “immune boosting” foods are listed in Kellie Davis’ article entitled, “10 Foods That Fight Flu and Colds.” She mentions homemade bone broth as having beneficial nutrients as well.
As you can see, there are quite a few things we can eat and drink to help our immune systems to battle the flu and colds during this season. This helps us to be wise when we make our food choices to better our health.
AJM Air Ambulance Jet Service: We’re Here For You
During the upcoming holiday season, if you do, unfortunately, get sick while you are away, keep us in mind to get you home while providing premier healthcare. Our air ambulance jet service flies all over the world to ensure that we can give you the best care where and when YOU need it. Please give us a call at (888) 632-5560 or simply click here to request a quote.