As Flu and Cold Season approaches, it becomes more and more important for us to take care of our bodies, be mindful of what we put into our mouths, and get plenty of physical activity/exercise! This will help to not only keep us productive and efficient while at work, it will also increase energy levels, decrease stress, and keep our brains functioning at a high level (both inside AND outside of work)
Below are 10 foods, proven to help bolster the immune system by preventing AND treating Flu and Cold symptoms:
- Kombucha: Kombucha is a fermented tea that has been consumed for centuries! This delicious drink is rich in probiotics and contains antioxidants that can kill harmful bacteria. Kombucha also supports a healthy gut, is beneficial to mental health, and has also been proven to fight numerous diseases!
- Hot Lemon Water: Seems too simple and too good to be true, I know. But this simple remedy aides in digestion and also boosts the immune system by protecting the body from a cold or the flu. The warm liquid coupled with the lemon can soothe a sore throat, decrease inflammation, and help relieve congestion. Whether you are attempting to prevent the Flu, or whether you are already showing symptoms of the Flu or Cold, you cannot go wrong with some good ol’ hot lemon water. I typically consume 8-16 oz. in the morning as this aides in digestion AND hydration.
- Apple Cider Vinegar: This helps keep the pH levels balanced, which can help prevent colds and flu germs from making your nose and chest their home. I recommend 1-2 Tbsp. per day.
- Coconut Oil: This remedy has high levels of lauric acid, which the body can convert into a substance that has antimicrobial properties. This helps boost the immune system and ward off illness. It can be taken with food, melted in hot tea or coffee, or eaten raw, straight out of the jar!
- Ginger: I eat this everyday by mixing/blending it in my juices and/or smoothies! I even have some right now that I am sipping on. This helps relieve sinus trouble and congestion.
- Garlic (raw or pill form): Eating garlic regularly is one of the best thinks you can do during flu season. Allicin, a natural property in garlic, fights bad bacteria AND viruses!
- Citrusy Fruits (oranges, lemons, limes, etc.): These delicious fruits are great sources of Vitamin C. This is an important antioxidant that help boost that immune system. You can also get Vitamin C from peppers (red, green, yellow, orange, etc.), kiwi and strawberries!
- Prebiotics: Your body thrives if it has a healthy dose of probiotics functioning properly from within. Prebiotics are awesome to include in the diet because while these cannot be digested by the body, they are food for the probiotics and help “grow those probiotics big and strong”! Confused? Think of it like this: Pacman is the probiotic, and the little blue dots are the prebiotics. You can find prebiotics in oats and barley (contain beta-glucan) and onions, bananas & asparagus (contain inulin)
- Cauliflower: This veggie boosts glutathione, an antioxidant that gives your immune system added superpowers to shut down flu symptoms.
10. Green and black tea (with honey, if desired): These teas are key sources of antioxidants while chamomile and ginger teas calm upset stomachs and reduce inflammation. Moreover, honey soothes the throat and the steam from the tea opens up your sinuses!
Although this blog is centered around Flu/Cold season, these foods/drinks are great to consume, on a year-round basis! Try these out during this upcoming flu/cold season, and let us know how they work for you!