Recent blustery weather has extended
the flu season, so it’s good to know that certain vitamins
and nutrients like whole grains, fruits, veggies, and low-fat
meat help to beef up your immune system.
Water is also an anticold and flu suppressor. “Drinking
plenty of fluids, preferably water and decaffeinated drinks gives
your body what it needs to stay healthy,” Maloo added.
In late 2004, a shortage of the flu vaccine caused widespread
panic through the nation and had thousands of people, especially
the elderly, standing in ridiculously long lines outside doctor’s
offices and clinics, sometimes for hours, in hopes of getting
vaccinated. Only those under five, older than 60, or caring for
infants could receive the vaccine.
If these circumstances don’t apply to you, then there are
a few precautions you may want to take. “Frequent exercise,
adequate sleep, and a lot of hand washing,” suggested Pat
Vasconcellos, a registered, private practice dietician in Boston.
To avoid unnecessary aches and pains, post-nasal drip, middle
of the night chills and coughs, and expensive trips to the doctors
office, whip up a combination of any one of the 14 foods listed
ZINC, SELENIUM, and PROTEIN rich foods
Pork, Lean Ground Beef, Muesli, and Cashews – each contains
high levels of zinc, selenium, and protein that help your body
fight off illness, keeping your immune system strong. Pork is
also a good source of vitamin B and contains a little more fat
than beef. Cashews are high in fat, mostly unsaturated, and should
be eaten in moderation.
VITAMIN C, FIBER, and POTASSIUM rich foods
Oranges, Grapefruit Juice, Black Currants, Green Bell Peppers,
Brussels Sprouts, and Potatoes – each contain high levels
of vitamin C, essential to helping the body fight colds. Brussels
sprouts and potatoes also contain sources of potassium, fiber,
and folate that help boost anticarcinogenic glucosinates, which
have important cancer-fighting properties. When potatoes are
soaked in water, they tend to lose their vitamin C.
OTHER cold and flu fighting vitamins and minerals
Garlic – packed with ALLICIN, a natural antibiotic that
fights off cold viruses in addition to Hollywood vampires.
Yogurt – research shows that one cup of yogurt a day may
work to keep the gastrointestinal track healthier, which can
help ward off colds and flus, according to Maloo. Recent studies
have also found that regular consumption of dairy products may
even help people to lose weight. Look for yogurt containing the
active culture “L. ACIDOPHILUS,” which helps fight
off yeast infections.
Whole Wheat Pasta – contains a good amount of complex carbohydrates
essential to both a healthy diet and boosting the immune system.
Whole wheat pasta is also rich in NIACIN, FIBER, and IRON, strong
defenses against the common cold and flu viruses.