When cold and flu season comes around, there is a better chance of getting sick. However, this can be prevented, or at least you can minimize the severity of the illness, if your immune system is strong. Although there are immune support supplements available, one of the best ways to boost your immune system is through whole foods. There is a wide variety of foods that contain the nutrients, such as antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals, that your body needs to strengthen immunity so that you do not need to go in search of flu relief.
Foods Rich in Antioxidants
Antioxidants are important because they tackle free radicals in your body. These harmful molecules can cause damage your cells and DNA, which can lead to chronic diseases and cancer. Although your body is able to make antioxidants, supplementing with healthy foods is smart during cold and flu season. The foods that contain high levels of antioxidants also contain other nutrients that help your body fight off illness and disease:
- Fruits: raspberries, apples, goji berries, blueberries, cranberries, blackberries, strawberries, cherries, and plums
- Vegetables: kale, red cabbage, beets, spinach, artichokes, dark leafy greens, and russet potatoes
- Beans: black beans, pinto beans, and red kidney beans
- Miscellaneous: Pecans and dark chocolate
Packed with Vitamins & Minerals
The immune system is made out of a variety of cells and systems, including innate and acquired immunity. All of these require nutrients to grow and function. Along with antioxidants, vitamins and minerals play a large role. All of the foods that contain high levels of antioxidants are also packed with vitamins and minerals. Some of the ones that have been found to be critical for a strong immune system include vitamin D, vitamin C, selenium, zinc, and iron.
Some food items that deliver these nutrients include:
- Citrus fruits
- Sweet potatoes
- Red peppers
- Fatty fish
- Turkey, chicken, and beef
- Whole grains
Although eating healthy helps fight off illnesses, sometimes you do get sick. When you do, try homeopathic remedy for cough, as it is natural and works with your immune system to get rid of the illness quickly.
There are numerous other superfoods that help support and strengthen the immune system. Garlic, ginger, turmeric, ginseng, and raw honey are just some examples. Although eating healthy year-round helps with immunity, eating when you do not feel well is hard. These other superfoods make it easy for you to get immune-boosting benefits without having to make a meal or eat foods that hurt your throat.
For example, when looking for superfoods to eat when sick, teas are an easy way for you to get important nutrients. There are bagged teas, such as green or ginger, that make it convenient, but you can also make your own. Peel ginger or ginseng and seep it in hot water. Strain and then add raw honey and a squeeze of lemon for an extra nutrient punch. Not only do you continue to supply your body with necessary nutrients, but you also get the extra hydration you need to get better.