Foods for Fighting Cold and Flu
Cold and flu season is one of the worst times of the year. Though the winter months can mean a time filled with family, friends, and comfort food, it can also mean fighting off cold after cold and doing your best to avoid the flu. Many cabinets are stocked with chicken soup, decongestant, and kleenex, in order to get them through the season. If this is you, and you’re hoping to avoid colds and flu this winter, it might be time to stock your refrigerator instead. Check out these foods that help to fight off the cold and flu before it arrives.
Foods with antioxidants
Antioxidants are vital to your health and will help to keep sickness far away. Consuming enough of these will lead to normal cell production and cell repair. Illnesses, especially viruses, cause the cells to reproduce incorrectly, thus furthering the virus in the body. Antioxidants help to fight this, meaning that the body is able to produce healthy cells which then help to fight infection. Foods that contain high amounts of antioxidants vary widely, so it’s likely that you’ll be able to find something you like. For a powerful punch of antioxidants, try blueberries, leafy greens like spinach, garlic, or even dark chocolate.
Foods with Vitamin C
Vitamin C has long been touted as an immune booster, and this old piece of advice still rings true. Vitamin C boosts the immune system so that it is better able fight infection. While consuming Vitamin C beforehand can give you a little protection, taking it at the first sign of sickness has been shown to slow the growth of illness and shorten the sick time significantly. Foods with Vitamin C include bell peppers, oranges, lemons, broccoli, and tomatoes.
Foods with beta-carotene
Beta-carotene can mostly be found in orange foods. When consumed, this compound is turned into Vitamin A by the body. Vitamin A is responsible for keeping the immune system strong, which as we all know, means the body can fight illness more efficiently. Beta-carotene also helps keep the nasal passages and mucus membranes functioning properly, meaning less opportunity for infection in those areas. To find foods with this compound, look to carrots, sweet potatoes, squash, cantaloupe, and apricots.
Getting through cold and flu season may mean that you need to stock your pantry instead of your medicine cabinet. Eating the right foods and preparing for the influx of germs during this time of year can keep you healthy and strong through the season. If prevention is the best medicine, then enjoy the process with these delicious cold fighting foods.