Food and the Flu


We are in the middle of the flu season, and you can’t miss it. Kids are missing school and parents are having to stay home from work because of the flu. If you haven’t gotten it, you don’t have to. And if you have, you still have every reason to want to build up your immunity.

MSNBC recently provided the best way to build up your immunity: food. They have come up with a list of the 15 best and worst foods for immunity. Let’s take a look at a few of them here.

Orange Juice. According to this article, Vitamin C doesn’t actually keep us from catching a cold, but it will help us recover more quickly. And the best way to get vitamin C is through our food, as opposed to supplements. One cup of orange juice provides more vitamin C than is suggested. There’s debate over whether vitamin C prevents colds, but there is no doubt that getting lots of it can help you recover more quickly from a cold. And that’s worth the glass of juice! Other ways to get vitamin C in good include grapefruit, oranges, red peppers, and kiwifruit, all of which are tasty ways to supplement your health.

Oats and Barley. One Norwegian study reports that oats and Barley contain antimicrobial and antioxidant power that is more effective than echinacea. Animals which ate these compounds were less likely to get sick, specifically the flu, herpes, and anthrax. It works to build our immunity and help us heal once we are sick.

Fish. This is one of my favorite “prescriptions” for good health! Fish and fortified dairy are of the best sources of vitamin D, next to getting direct sunlight. Vitamin D has been found to build immunity to actually prevent getting sick. One Harvard study showed that people who had low levels of vitamin D were 36 percent more likely to contract upper respiratory infections, compared with those who had strong levels of the vitamin.

Garlic. Garlic is nature’s antibiotic. It contains compounds that fight off infection, as do antibiotics, but without any side effects! A study published in “Advances in Therapy” demonstrated that those who took one garlic supplement for three winter months were 66 percent less likely to get sick, and those who did get sick recovered three and a half days faster.

Wheat Germ. I used to think that wheat germ was just something senior citizens ate, but it’s actually good for all of us and easy to mix onto cereal, yogurt, oatmeal, or even smoothies. Just a quarter of a cup of wheat germ holds almost half of our daily requirement for zinc, which strengthens our immunity. Even a slight shortage of zinc increases our risk of infection.

Potatoes and Sweet Potatoes. Potatoes are full of These foods are rich in vitamin A, which is very important in preventing and fighting off sickness. During the holiday season, it should be very easy to get our vitamin A.

The complete list of food do’s and don’ts when it comes to preventing and fighting off the flu is available at MSNBC. Sometimes you see lists of things that will help our bodies that end up being rare herbs and spices that seem impossible to get hold of, much less use in our daily preparation of meals. This list is not that way. During this virtual flu epidemic these are easy, accessible, and very tasty ways to build up our immunity.

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