Immunity-Boosting Foods for Flu Season
The weather is getting colder and all of a sudden, everyone seems to be getting sick. You’re surrounded by sneezing, coughing and sniffling people; how do you prevent yourself from getting sick too? Of course, there’s no magical cure, but there are some foods that can help boost your immunity to help you better fight off those flu germs.
These are 5 foods you should be eating this Autumn and Winter to boost your immunity, and how to incorporate them into your meals.
Garlic has been used for centuries when it comes to fighting off infections. Why exactly garlic is so good at boosting your immunity is still unclear to some researchers, but it seems to stem from the high concentration of compounds such as allicin, which is high in sulphur. Garlic can be used in many different recipes, but for the best immunity boosting result, you need to ingest raw garlic. If this is too intense for you, try a supplement. Besides this, try including fresh garlic (as opposed to garlic powder) in most of your savoury meals. Whether it’s in a curry or spaghetti sauce, garlic works in almost anything. Getting your daily dose of fresh garlic, even if it’s cooked, will help your immune system.
We’ve all heard it before; if you’re feeling a cold coming on, drink some orange juice and take vitamin C tablets. Well, it’s very true, as vitamin C increases you body’s production of white blood cells and hence can help you fight off viruses. While this is good for when you have already caught a cold, it’s a good idea to make sure you get a good dose of natural vitamin C each day during the fall and winter, to keep your immunity up. Think oranges, grapefruits, lemons and limes. These fruits are tasty to eat on their own, and also work and taste great in a juice or a smoothie. For a nice warm drink, squeeze some lemon into hot water along with a sweetener (like maple syrup) and some ginger.
This vegetable is filled with useful minerals and vitamins to help keep your immunity up. The levels of vitamin A, C and E are high in broccoli, all extremely helpful to keep your body strong. Plus, it’s a great source of fibre. If you want to reap all the rewards from this power vegetable, don’t cook it too much, as vegetables in their raw form offer the most benefits. However, to avoid eating totally raw broccoli, boil it or steam it for a few minutes and season with a little bit of salt and pepper. You can also include broccoli into your sauces; a tomato pasta sauce works well with some finely chopped broccoli, or try making this delicious broccoli soup.
Ginger root is great at fighting inflammation and is a source of antioxidants, therefore it is a must during flu season. If you feel your throat is a bit sore, make sure to consume some extra ginger to combat it. Add some fresh ginger slices into your tea or just in some hot water for a good flu remedy. You should also get in the habit of using fresh ginger in your cooking; it adds some great flavour to curries, as well as in pumpkin soup. If you’re feeling daring, you can also eat ginger raw, just be warned of it’s spiciness!
These little seeds are a great source of vitamin E, which is an antioxidant. Vitamin E is proven to help improve the body’s immune function, and so it’s a great addition to your fall and winter diet. As with most foods, sunflower seeds offer the most health rewards when consumed raw. They make a great snack and also a good addition to salads. You can also roast a batch of sunflower seeds and use them to top your dishes, like soups and pastas - it adds some nice extra flavour and crunch.
Introducing these foods to your autumn and winter diet will help set you body up for flu season. They won’t make you immune, but they’ll help prepare your body to help fight off those viruses when they do come along!
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