Flu-Fighting Foods

Feeling under the weather? Go beyond chicken soup and orange juice with these immune system-boosting foods.

Having a cold or the flu is never fun. From headaches and fatigue to nausea and congestion, the symptoms alone are enough to keep you bedridden. In addition to drinking plenty of water and taking medicine, eating right can help you rebound quickly from a nasty bug. Because your body is under stress from an infection, it’s really important to support the immune system. Luckily, there are plenty of foods that can help your body fight off the flu. Check them out below:

  • Elderberry & Açai berry: Loaded with antioxidants to help fight inflammation.
  • Button mushrooms: High in selenium and the B vitamins riboflavin and niacin.
  • Oysters: Zinc helps create and activate white blood cells involved in the immune response and healing.
  • Watermelon: Includes an antioxidant called glutathione that helps fight infection.
  • Wheat germ: Along with zinc, antioxidants and B vitamins, it’s packed with fiber, protein and some healthy fat.
  • Low-fat yogurt: Probiotics, found in yogurt and other fermented products, may ease the severity of colds.
  • Spinach: Loaded with folate, it helps your body make new cells and repair DNA. It also boasts fiber, antioxidants such as vitamin C and more.
  • Tea: White, green or black each deliver disease-fighting polyphenols and flavonoids.
  • Sweet Potato: High in vitamin A, which mops up damaging free radicals, helps bolster the immune system and may even improve the aging process.
  • Broccoli: An immune-boosting basic filled with vitamins A and C and the antioxidant glutathione could lower your cancer risk and improve bone health.
  • Garlic: Raw garlic can help beat skin infections thanks to its ability to fight bacteria, viruses and fungi.
  • Miso: Another source of probiotics is the "good" bacteria found in yogurt, some fermented foods and your gut which is especially good for upset stomachs.
  • Chicken soup: Homemade or store-bought, the age-old remedy includes carnosine, which can protect your body from the flu virus.
  • Pomegranate juice: High in antioxidants, it may help your body fight bacteria and several kinds of viruses, including the flu.
  • Ginger: Full of antioxidants, fresh ginger root can ease nausea and vomiting.

Ready to get cooking? Try these recipes for Classic Chicken Soup, Hawaiian Ginger-Chicken Stew, Hibiscus-Pomegranate Iced Tea and Wheat Berry Pudding to give your immune system a boost.


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