5 Flu-Fighting Foods

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

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Photo by: PeopleImages

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

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