Flu season is almost here and often a flu shot and taking vitamin C isn’t enough. Aside from mitigating stress and getting enough sleep, it’s important to pay attention to nutrition. Here’s what you should be eating for flu prevention:
Hello mushrooms! These fungi contain glucans, a polysaccharide that enhances natural killer cells in the body. In order to optimize the immune-boosting benefits of mushrooms, eat a variety such as shiitake, white button, and maitake.
No more crying. Garlic, onions, shallots, and chives have been shown to reduce the severity of cold and flu symptoms by increasing the activity of natural killer cells. Onions have properties that increase white blood cell counts needed to fight off pathogens. Why not saute mushrooms and onions for a double whammy of these immune fighting foods?
A cup of kiwi blows citrus out of the water, with 273% of your daily value of C. It doesn’t mean you have to say goodbye to citrus. Oranges and grapefruits offer over 100% of your daily value of vitamin C.
Don’t toss out the pumpkins after the holidays. Pumpkin seeds are one of the best vegetarian sources of zinc, a mineral that can fight colds and flus. Sunflower seeds or sunflower seed butter are other good options.
Parfait anyone? Fermented foods like yogurt contain probiotics that have been shown to increase the activity of natural killer cells. Avoid the sweetened ones and opt for plain. If dairy doesn’t work for you, try fermented foods such kombucha, old-fashioned sauerkraut, and kimchi.
Let’s not forget about water. Hydrating is essential to keeping the immune system in check. Make sure you’re drinking enough throughout the day. Choose herbal teas over diuretics such as coffee and soda.
Next time you go food shopping, think about adding these items to your grocery list.