Sometimes it is like we can’t get a break from cold and flu season, and now we have another virus to worry about. But, there are some things you can do to prevent you or your family from catching some of those icky germs. One of the easiest things you can start with is the food you are eating. Yes, there are some foods that are packed with antioxidants and vitamins that will naturally keep your immune system going strong and putting up a good fight from illness.
Eleven Essential Flu-Fighting Foods
Here are eleven of the top foods that can help combat this germy season we have upon us. They are foods you may not have thought of being so powerful for our bodies, and you may already be eating them! If not, just add a few to your grocery list to have on hand all year round!
Not only do blueberries help with memory and heart health (among other things), they are packed with flavonoids (a class of antioxidants) that cut down your chance of catching a cold by a third! It’s no wonder that WebMD calls blueberries a ‘One Food Wonder’. This is one of the BEST flu-fighting foods!
Try my Amish Chocolate Pie here!
I was really excited to see that dark chocolate can help me during the cold and flu season. I eat my fair share of dark chocolate, so it’s a bonus that it has more benefits than simply being a delicious treat! Dark chocolate contains theobromine (found in cocoa), which will help suppress that annoying cough you may have caught. In fact, according to a small study, dark chocolate was more effective in stopping a cough than codeine (and with fewer side effects)! (Okay, so maybe chocolate PIE isn’t the best way to consume chocolate if you are using it for health benefits, but it certainly is the most delicious way!)
Try my perfect Deviled Eggs here!
Eggs have had some good and bad press throughout the years. But, I eat an egg almost every morning, and it was comforting to know the benefits they have for our bodies (especially the yolks). Eggs are packed with all sorts of vitamins and nutrients, but for our case, the most important being Vitamin D. Vitamin D helps strengthen immunity, and isn’t that the whole point of preventing illnesses? If you love eggs and want to see the entire list of benefits, you can see them all here.
Try my Garlic Crusted Prime Rib here!
As a food blogger, I have used my fair share of garlic in recipes. It has gotten a good reputation throughout the years as being a cold-fighting beast! That is good news to me, and I will gladly add more garlic to any recipe. It has a compound called alliin, and when garlic is crushed or chewed, this turns to allicin. I am not a scientist, but to know that garlic helps in boosting my immune system, that is enough for me! If you want to read more about the studies being done, you can find that information here.
Ginger is full of anti-inflammatory properties to help fight off a cold or flu. It also has antioxidants (a common theme in a lot of these foods) and anti-bacterial power that makes it beneficial in many ways, not just fighting germs!
Ginseng tea is not only delicious, but it can also help lessen the symptoms of the cold or flu. Just like ginger, it has antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties that help our body keep germs at bay. For all the benefits of ginseng, you can read about them here.
I couldn’t have a list of essential foods that will help you deal with cold and flu season without mentioning oranges! Most of us know that oranges are packed with Vitamin C, which can boost your immunity big-time. This is especially helpful for those of us that live in colder climates where sickness is often all around us!
Try my Blueberry Spinach Salad here!
Spinach is definitely a superfood! It is so full of nutrients, with Vitamin C being one of them. Vitamin C is key to keeping our symptoms of the cold or flu more bearable or to help fight the germs our bodies come in contact with every day!
Try my Tomato Pie here!
Two major components of our immune system are phagocytes and t-cells. And, these parts need Vitamin C, so that is why I have listed tomatoes as a flu-fighting food. Tomatoes are full of Vitamin C. So, don’t forget to add that tomato to your salad or sandwich next time.
Brussels Sprouts are high in fiber, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, making them a perfect addition to maintain a healthy diet. They may also come with added health benefits, including the potential to reduce the risk of cancer, decrease inflammation, and improve blood sugar control. Brussels sprouts are an important dietary source of vitamin antioxidants including vitamins C and vitamin A.
Try my Honey Garlic Salmon here!
The reason wild salmon made my list is because of one nutrient–zinc. Wild salmon is full of zinc, and zinc is one of those things you need for your body to function at its best. There are some studies that show that if you take a zinc lozenge as soon as you feel a cold coming on, it will reduce the symptoms. If salmon is not for you, there are some other foods that also contain zinc that you can look at here.
Okay, water isn’t super exciting, but the benefits of drinking water should get you excited (and reaching for another glass this cold and flu season). Regardless of the time of year, you should be drinking about 8 glasses of water per day. Water helps flush germs and viruses out of your immune system. If you are sick, you are probably dehydrated, so it’s even more important to keep drinking that water!
This post does not provide medical advice. It is intended for informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.