5 Foods that fight the flu

1/22/2013

You can fight the flu with food. In fact, good nutrition is even more effective than the flu vaccine, says Dr. Joel Fuhrman, author of The New York Times best-selling book, "Super Immunity."

Here’s a list of foods that research shows can help you fight off flu and other types of infection:

Chicken Soup

Yes, you’ve heard that chicken soup can make you feel better when you are sick. But research shows that it can also prevent you from getting ill in the first place. According to research in the American Journal of Therapeutics, chicken soup contains a compound called carnosine which boosts the body’s immune system during the very early stages of flu. This may help you fight off the illness before it takes hold. The study followed on others which found that the ingredients in chicken soup did a better job than a placebo in breaking up infection. But it’s not just the carnosine in the chicken broth – it’s the synergy of the ingredients you add that can make a difference. So load up your pot with greens, carrots, onions, and mushrooms – all have immune-boosting powers.

Sweet Potatoes

Sweet potatoes are an excellent source of beta carotene, which gives them their orange color. One of beta carotene’s jobs is to support the body’s mucus membranes, which line the respiratory and intestinal tract. Mucus membranes functioning at their peak make it harder for germs to enter the bloodstream and start infection. In addition, sweet potatoes contain glucontain, an immune-boosting antioxidant.

Cauliflower

Cauliflower is a cruciferous vegetable, which means it’s rich in illness-fighting antioxidants. It also contains choline, which is a nutrient essential to good overall health. Cauliflower is also packed with glutathione, which is yet another powerful antioxidant. A big bowl of steamed cauliflower is not only a comfort food, it helps to chase away the flu.

Cinnamon

Cinnamon has antiviral, antifungal, and antibacterial properties, meaning it fights microbes that cause flu and other infections. Sprinkle cinnamon on oatmeal or brew it with tea.

Mushrooms

Mushrooms are loaded with zinc, an all important immune-supporting mineral, which research has credited with fighting the common cold, as well as recurrent lower respiratory infections. People who do not get enough zinc often have fewer white blood cells, which means they have a reduced immune response and are less able to fight off disease.


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