It’s sneezing season—and you’d like to make it through this one without getting hit with a cold or the flu. What can you do besides loading up on hand sanitizer and getting your flu shot? Look to your plate. Eat to beat cold and flu bugs (and protect yourself from other illnesses, to boot) by loading up on these immune-boosting bites:
People have been using garlic for centuries to strengthen the immune system and help fight infections. We now know that garlic contains a number of sulfur-containing phytonutrients, such as allicin, which fight infection, cancer and heart disease. Use raw minced garlic to season meat or poultry before cooking or mix it into most pasta dishes. For a more mellow garlic flavor, try roasted garlic.
One of these fruits fills more than half of your daily needs for vitamin C needs, which is critical not only for your immune system, but for healthy skin and the creation of protein and hormones, among other things. While it’s always best to get this vitamin from food—because vitamin C-rich foods are also loaded with other good-for-you nutrients—the vitamin C found in your multi has the same chemical structure and is as effective.
An orange contains about 100 percent of the Daily Value for vitamin C. Enjoy it raw or add orange sections to salads or grain dishes.
With significant amounts of antioxidants, including flavonoids, vitamins A and C, and beta-carotene, parsley should not be left on your plate as a forgotten garnish. Finely chop and add to your favorite grain for a fresh-tasting, antioxidant-packed side dish.
These are full of immune-boosting antioxidants, such as ellagic acid, which also has proven anti-cancer effects. Check out Pomegranate Primer for tips on how to enjoy it.
These vegetables, which contain carotenoids, antioxidants that build immunity, are also a fantastic source of vitamin C. Try adding sliced raw peppers to your salad.
Both black and green tea (caffeinated and decaffeinated) contain polyphenols, phytonutrients that reduce inflammation and act as antioxidants. This may be why tea drinkers have a lower risk for heart disease and may also be a little more protected from cancer and diabetes.
The friendly bacteria found in yogurt may improve the immune response and bolster your body’s ability to protect you from infection. Go for low-fat or fat-free to keep calories in check.
Original article by Sidra Forman for TheBestLife.com