The cold season is here, and it’s time to bunker down and take care of your body. Your immune system is what protects you from an untimely illness, and it’s important to keep it healthy. There are ways to prevent illness through taking vitamins and getting flu shots, but it is important to watch what you’re eating. Things like pizza, chips, lattes, and cocktails are not only unhealthy but can prevent the immune system from functioning at its full capacity. It is easy to avoid those and work in immune-boosting superfoods. Your immune system needs your support at this time of year, and here is how you can help it.
Believe it or not, mothers didn’t push this on us for nothing. Soups, particularly chicken noodle soup, have a wide variety of ingredients in them, which of course contain a wide variety of vitamins and minerals. In addition, chicken soup helps stop the spread of colds. Just try not to have too much salt in it.
2. Oranges (and other citrus fruits)
Citrus is well-known for helping prevent colds and scurvy, which is mostly due to their high vitamin C content in them. If medicine isn’t an option, an orange is a great way to cure and prevent colds.
Probiotics are the bacteria found in yogurt, and they help your immune system keep your body a healthy bacteria biome. Aim to eat yogurts with live cultures in them, and avoid any with sugar. For a sweet taste, add fruit like in this Berry & Chia Yogurt Parfait.
4. Green Tea
Green tea has the highest concentration of antioxidants among teas by far, so turn to it, instead of that cup of Earl Grey. Proper brewing can minimize any bitterness, and avoid adding milk to it; that will nullify what is supposed to help you.
Raw honey contains an immune-boosting bacteria and phytochemicals from the flowers the bees used to make the honey, both of which stimulate the immune system. Buy local raw honey if possible; honey is effective in preventing allergies, but it won’t help if it’s not made from plants in your area.
Garlic contains both anti-pathogens and antioxidants, making it valuable for immune system support. Think of the cold as a vampire, and the garlic is here to ward it away and protect you. These 13 Garlicky Recipes will help garlic lovers get creative in the kitchen.
7. Sweet Potato
Sweet potato contains vitamin C and vitamin A; the latter supports mucus membranes which keep illness out. Vitamin A also supports the skin, a vital organ which plays a larger role than it seems in preventing illness.