Fight through cold and flu season with immunity boosters!
Even a minor illness like the common cold can throw you off your game. There’s nothing like waking up one morning, only to realize that your head is stuffed up, your joints ache, your throat is sore, and you can’t stop sneezing. But how are you supposed to prevent the common cold when it’s so, as the name implies, common? Our helpful list of immunity-boosting superfoods can go a long way in the fight against colds, the flu, and other viruses. Stock your kitchen with these essentials throughout cold and flu season!
1. Sweet Potatoes – The first line of defense against viruses and other damage to your body is your skin. To keep your skin healthy, it’s recommended that you incorporate plenty of beta-carotene into your diet. Beta-carotene is converted into vitamin A, which maintains the health of your skin. Carrots are well-known for containing beta-carotene, but sweet potatoes contain quite a bit, as well as a plethora of bonus vitamins and minerals to balance your diet.
2. Poultry – Chicken and Turkey are rich in zinc, a mineral that’s integral to your body’s production of white blood cells. White blood cells are dispensed by your bone marrow as your body’s primary weapons against bacteria and viruses. Despite the importance of zinc, it has one of the most common deficiency rates in the western world. If you’re worried about fat content, go for white meat and always remove the skin before serving.
3. Tea – Many Asian countries rely on tea as a dietary staple, and it’s no coincidence that those same nations rank highly in world health ratings. Both black and green, as well as decaf and regular, are rich in the amino acid L-theanine, which boosts the body’s ability to fight viruses.
4. Mushrooms – Mushrooms are famously beneficial to the health of your immune system. Like foods rich in zinc, they promote the growth of white blood cells, and even makes these cells more aggressive, and therefore more effective in fighting against viruses.
5. Fish – Shellfish contain selenium, a nutrient known to help white blood cells produce a special proteins called cytokines, which help to expel flu viruses from the body. Fish such as salmon and mackerel are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which help reduce inflammation and protect the lungs from colds and respiratory illnesses. Just be careful to moderate your consumption if you’re pregnant or plan to be pregnant, as the mercury in such foods can cause side effects for your baby.
You’ll be surprised at how well your body performs if provided with the right fuel! Make a habit of preparing meals that contain these superfoods, and you may find yourself with fewer, and shorter lasting, colds and viruses.
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