Boost Your Immunity! Eat These 5 Foods

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Cold and flu season is right around the corner and while there’s no magical food to protect you from illness, eating more of these five foods can help keep you going strong through those chilly winter months.


High quality protein plus probiotics help protect the digestive tract. Yogurt fortifies the immune system and helps with healthy digestion posing a double threat to germs.

Chicken Soup

You might not need another reason to reach for a warm bowl of chicken soup to help ward off cold symptoms but there’s actually some science to back it up. It’s unclear whether it’s the healthy combo of chicken and veggies or the dose of minerals and electrolytes found in the broth, but this classic recipe makes folks feel better and may also shorten the duration of a cold. It’s reason enough to keep some on hand for when sniffles set in.


This spicy root contains powerful disease fighting phytochemicals like and acts as a digestive aid. Add to stir fry, marinades, salad dressings, make tea, or use to flavor soups and poaching liquids. Pair up with vitamin C rich foods for a delicious flavor combo, plus an additional boost of antioxidants.


Burger staples like beef and cheese are high in zinc, a mineral vital for proper immune function. Take advantage of these food sources, plus others like, yogurt and shellfish. Proceed with caution, however, when using zinc supplements due to the risk of some dangerous side effects when taken in large doses.


Bring on the garlic breath to ward off germs! This member of the onion family contains natural antibacterial agents and is also plentiful in cell-protecting antioxidants. Fresh garlic is the best choice but we’re not suggesting chomping on whole cloves (though the roasted ones are quite delicious). Incorporate garlic as part of your regular routine in recipes for pesto, gremolita, salad dressing, roasted potatoes and sautéed veggies.

Dana Angelo White, MS, RD, ATC, is a registered dietitian, certified athletic trainer and owner of Dana White Nutrition, Inc., which specializes in culinary and sports nutrition.

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