Eat This To Boost your Immunity this Winter
If it feels as if a cold or the flu (eww) is just around the corner, join us in fighting back. Along with your flu shot and a bag of your favorite throat lozenges, here are a few foods that can actually help boost your immune system through the cold winter months.
5 Foods to Boost your Immunity this Winter
Omega-3’s. This trusty healthy fat is one that gets a lot of press – and for good reason! Commonly found in oily fish like tuna, salmon and mackerel, these fats can both help to prevent infection because of their anti-inflammatory properties as well as fight existing infection since they increase the action of white blood cells, the properties in our bodies that help fight infection. So consume 2-3 servings of fish per week or add flax seed to your favorite cereal or yogurt in the morning.
Zinc. Zinc found in beans, oysters, turkey and beef as well as nuts (in smaller amounts), helps to both increase the number of our infection-fighting cells in our bodies and to help build antibodies. Just don’t go overboard with supplements since too much zinc isn’t a good thing. Instead, get zinc from food sources by having a bean salad or a serving of animal protein with dinner.
Probiotics. Found in live active-culture yogurts or on their own in health food stores, probiotics can boost your immune systems by taking nutrients away from harmful bacteria, inhibiting its growth. They may also aid in the prevention of diarrhea, some allergies and inflammatory bowel disease, making it great even when it’s no longer cold or flu season.
Vitamin C. While studies suggest vitamin C has more of an impact when used under extreme conditions (like if you’re running the marathon or living in very cold climates), for the rest of us, evidence suggests Vitamin C won’t likely prevent our cold, but it may help shorten its duration. So if you’re feeling under the weather, make sure you’re consuming five servings of fruits and vegetables daily or taking a supplement (up to 500mg every 2 hours).
Garlic. With both its antimicrobial and antifungal properties, garlic is a great way to fight off germs. Most powerful in its fresh form, the active ingredients may not be absorbed as effectively if taken in a pill, so try to incorporate garlic into your favorite chicken or meat dish or to whole-wheat pasta. Just be sure your loved ones eat it with you as well!