Nip the onset of colds and flu in the bud by improving your overall wellbeing and immunity. There are some surprising immune-enhancing foods out there. Here are some top ones to try.
Not only delicious, these fruits have a variety of benefits for your immune system. According to the Molecular Nutrition and Food Research journal, red berries contain resveratrol, a compound that helps to increase the functioning of a gene called cathelicidin antimicrobial peptide (CAMP). This gene produces proteins to fight bacteria. It’s not just grapes but also red wine that can assist in fighting off flu. Because it contains flavonoids, plant compounds that can be found in red grape skins, wine can help to stop viruses in their tracks.
You know they’re delicious, but did you know that they can protect your body from illness because of their zinc content? Just one ounce (approximately six teaspoons) of these seeds contain more than 2mg of zinc, which is a fourth of your daily requirement. Besides for keeping your immunity high, zinc is also good for your eyes and skin, it improves your mood, and helps maintain your insulin levels. Great reasons to sprinkle pumpkin seeds over your cereal and yogurt every day!
Sweet potatoes are delicious and healthy. From yummy roasts to mashing them, these vegetables should be forming part of your regular diet because they’re an important element of your flu-fighting plan. Sweet potatoes contain Vitamin A that fights free radicals which can contribute to a weaker immune system.
Spicy peppers can help to clear up stuffy sinuses while also beating influenza due to their Vitamin C content. This vitamin is a must when you’re duelling with flu because it has antiviral qualities and increases the body’s production of antibodies. If you’re not really keen on peppers, try to get Vitamin C from kiwis, guavas, strawberries, oranges and papaya.
According to the book, Boost Your Health with Bacteria by Fred Pescatore, you need to protect your gastrointestinal tract because this is where nutrients for a healthy life are absorbed. If there’s a problem along the route, the body is not gaining enough nourishment. Did you know the digestive tract contains 70 per cent of the body’s immunity? You can keep it in great condition with Greek yogurt that has healing bacteria. The bonus? It doesn’t contain sugars that are usually found in other yogurts which can actually lower your immunity levels.