Ten Foods That Boost Your Immune System And Ward Off Colds And The Flu

As flu season strikes again, look no further than your local grocery store to reduce the risks of catching a cold. Here are the top ten foods you should be eating now to help boost your immune system...

Cold & Flu

Common sense dictates a whole host of preventative measures we can do to reduce our risk of catching the dreaded bug doing the rounds: Stay away from sick friends and relatives and take vitamin supplements to avoid getting too run down.

But it's hard to steer clear of sick people when you've got to look after your poorly kid or take public transport with a whole host of walking germs...

So if your a slave to the sniffles, why not try out some of these immune-boosting foods to help ward off any colds and flu viruses...

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GARLIC

Garlic may be best known for making your breath smell but Garlic has a long history of use as an immune system booster because of its antiseptic, anti-fungal and nutritive properties. And it's a natural detoxicant protecting against bacterial and viral infections without any of the side-effects associated with antibiotics. Just cut a clove into small pieces and swallow them like a pill to get the immune-boosting effects of garlic.

CHICKEN SOUP

Your mum was right - you should eat chicken soup when you’re sick. This age-old elixir combines many elements that help speed your recovery. The warm broth not only soothes your throat but helps you stay hydrated but bone broth, or chicken soup, is packed with amino acids - including glycine, arginine and proile - and minerals, such as magnesium, phosphorous and sulfur, which helps boost the immune system.

OYSTERS

A well-known aphrodisiac, oysters also contain high levels of zinc - which can shield your immune system from a cold and have virus-fighting powers. That's probably because zinc helps create and activate white blood cells involved in the immune response.

BEEF

Beef boosts your immune system - it's a good source of zinc, and zinc is important in the development of the white blood cells that defend your body. Plus, the extra protein from the meat supports the body in building antibodies and fighting off infection.

SWEET POTATOES

We’re struggling to think of a better way to top up our vitamin A and beta carotene levels this winter than snacking on a bowl of sweet potato wedges. While sweet potatoes may not be considered a traditional cold-fighting food, they’re a great source of Vitamin A, which plays a key role in maintaining the health of your mucosal surfaces. Not only are they full to the brim with anti-oxidising nutrients, but they’re also a great source of fibre and slow-release energy, keeping your blood sugar levels at a regular pace, and tackling fatigue head-on.

MUSHROOMS

Despite being fungi, there are mushrooms that kill viruses, mushrooms that kill bacteria, and even mushrooms that kill yeast. They give you the mineral selenium and the B vitamins riboflavin and niacin which play a role in a healthy immune system. If you’re low on selenium, you may be more likely to get a more severe flu, so eating mushrooms can help.

BROCCOLI

If you’re looking for a great immune system-boosting all-rounder, give broccoli a whirl. Rich in vitamins A, C, E, the antioxidant glutathione and beta carotene, it contains plentiful amounts of almost all of the top immune system nutrients, as well as other potent health boosters.

SPINACH

While people typically associate citrus fruit with vitamin C, dark leafy greens, like spinach are also great sources of the cold-fighting vitamin. Spinach is the one of the most popular superfoods - and for good reason. It's packed full of vitamin C and folic acid, which helps repair cells, boost your immune system and keep you healthy.

WATERMELON

Turns out watermelon is actually an immune system-booster that we should be enjoying all year round. A tad out of season during the winter months, but if you can get hold of it, watermelon is a great health booster because it contains a powerful antioxidant known as glutathione. Gluthathione helps to strengthen the immune system so it can fight off infections.

YOGURT

A morning dose of yogurt can help keep your immune system strong. Yogurt contains probiotics - otherwise known as 'good bacteria' - which helps improve your immune system and help balance out your gut.

So if you feel a cold coming on, try the above and don't sweat it...

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