5 Flu-Fighting Foods

Eat more of these foods to help protect your health during flu season.


Photo by: PeopleImages


One of the worst flu seasons in recent memory is upon us. Along with getting the flu shot, regularly washing your hands and maintaining good personal hygiene, there are foods you can arm yourself with that can help protect against this nasty virus. These 5 foods can help you stay healthy throughout flu season.

1: Lamb

This protein is an excellent source of zinc, a mineral that helps with the production of white blood cells and other parts of the immune system. White blood cells fight infection and release antibodies that help destroy disease-causing microorganisms.

2: Broccoli

This green member of the cruciferous vegetable (AKA cabbage) family is especially high in antioxidant vitamins A and C, which help strengthen the immune system. Vitamin C has also been shown to help strengthen your body’s defense against pathogens. One cup of fresh broccoli flowerets provides 20 calories, 43% of your daily recommended amount of vitamin A and 110% of the recommended amount of vitamin C.

Recipe to try: Healthy Broccoli Roman Style    

3: Shitake Mushrooms

Mushrooms contain beta-glucan, which helps activate the immune system. A 2015 study published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition examined the effects of shitake mushroom consumption on the immune system. The results found that mushrooms helped improve immune system function.   

4: Greek Yogurt

Eating probiotics, live microorganisms with health benefits, can help improve gut health by fighting off “bad” bacteria. Probiotics have also been shown to help increase the number of “good” bacteria that help fight off “bad” bacteria. They also help increase the number of virus-fighting cells. You can find probiotics in many fermented foods, including Greek yogurt, kefir and kombucha.

5: Garlic

It’s believed that in 1858, Louis Pasteur (who discovered pasteurization) first demonstrated the antibacterial effect of garlic. Since then, garlic has been associated with helping to fight viruses, including those associated with the flu. If garlic isn’t part of your healthy eating plan, add a few in dishes.

Recipe to try: Ina Garten's Hummus

Next Up

5 Frozen Foods to Stock (and 5 to Skip)

Your freezer was created to preserve food for longer periods of time. But filling it with junk can sabotage any healthy eating plan. I’ll tell you which items to stock up on and which can lead to a bulging waistline.

5 Foods To Always Have In Your Fridge

A fridge filled with health-promoting ingredients is an amazing thing. Next time you stand there scanning the shelves, make sure these foods are within reach.

5 Best Instant Ramens, According to Food Network Staffers

Here’s what Food Network staffers reach for when they’re pressed for time, or craving a late night snack.

5 Creative Ways to Reuse Food Scraps This Earth Day

Here's how to recycle all those leftover crusts, stems and peels.

5 Food Safety Rules for Eating Outside During the Summer

Warmer months means spending more time outdoors. Here's what to know when you bring your meal outside.

5 Unexpected Foods That Are Even Better on the Grill

Hear from Food Network's Master of 'Cue, Rashad Jones, about how to elevate everyday ingredients with a quick turn on the grill.

These Are 5 Super-Satisfying Breakfast Foods to Keep You Fuller, Longer

It’s no secret that breakfast is important. Last until lunch by eating more of these five satiating breakfast foods.

5 Homemade Noodle Making Tips from Jason Wang of Xi’an Famous Foods

Keep these in mind for a successful, and so worth it, batch of biang-biang noodles.

Drew Barrymore's Got an Etsy Gift Guide — and Her Best Picks for Food Lovers Start at Just $5

Because who wouldn't want inspiration from the gift-giving superstar herself?

More from: