Do you know which foods will increase your protection against cold and flu the most? We asked top nutrition experts to reveal essential immune system boosters.
You can’t go wrong with all kinds of berries, especially since they are the best food for a cold. This is because berries like strawberries, raspberries, and blueberries, which have many health benefits, are a hydrating source of vitamin C. “Vitamin C acts as an antioxidant and plays an important role in immune function.” explains Alex Müller. RDN, a nutritionist for business in Grand Rapids, MI. She recommends filling it with fresh berries whenever possible; Add them to yogurt, granola, salads, or smoothies. “Have fun with it: make a parfait with low-fat yogurt, fresh berries, walnuts, and a pinch of cinnamon.” Healthy foods like berries can also help care for a healthy immune system. Try this healthy blueberry muffin recipe.
Packed with potassium and extra powerful nutrients like strength and vitamin B6, bananas are as good as possible when it comes to boosting your immune system. Studies have shown that the electrolytes in bananas have energy-boosting benefits, which is helpful when you’re feeling tired from a cold. Miller recommends adding a tablespoon of nut butter to a plain, sliced banana or adding a few slices to oatmeal, low-fat yogurt, or sugar-free granola for a heart-healthy snack. He can also add them to smoothies and baked goods like muffins, pancakes, and bread. For instant relief, try one of these natural cold remedies that work.
Eggs strength is not the first food you want to eat when you feel sick, but they can be one of the best foods to eat when you have a cold. They’re loaded with proteins, which are an essential nutrient for your body in fighting the disease of all kinds, explains Roger E. Adams, Ph.D., a Houston-based nutritionist and nutritionist. And don’t skip the yolks. Most of the egg protein is in the yellow part of the egg. The egg yolk also contains other essential disease prevention nutrients, such as zinc and selenium, stimulating the immune system.
4. Barley in a bowl
If you’ve only found barley as an ingredient in soup, you may not be familiar with its myriad of health benefits, especially for your immune system. “Barley is a good foundation of fiber and selenium, which, due to its antioxidant properties, appears to have powerful effects on the immune system,” says Miller. He recommends incorporating barley into almost every salty meal you eat. “Add it to salads made from fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, beans, and fresh herbs, “It can also be used to make Italian rice and pilafs.” If you’re in the attitude for soup, try the chicken, barley, mushroom, or vegetable soup. You can also have it for mealtime; boil it and top it with fresh fruit like apples, walnuts or kernels like chopped walnuts and season like cinnamon, Miller adds. Eating right is a must when you are sick, but don’t do these things with a cold.
5. Oily fish
When it’s lunch or dinner, and you’re struggling with the slightest sign of illness, stock your plate with nutrient-rich proteins like salmon or tuna. A study available in the Journal of Leukocyte Biology found that fish oil boosted immune function. In the study, a diet high in DHA fish oil increased a white blood cell activity called B cells, an essential part of the body’s immune response. If you don’t like shellfish or oily fish like salmon or tuna, opt for fish oil supplements; You will continue to receive essential benefits and heart-healthy monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats that will help your immune system function optimally.
6. Foods rich in vitamin C.
When you feel depressed, you may not always feel like preparing food, but try to resist the urge to order takeout. Instead, use foods that contain vitamin C and require relatively little to no preparation. “Vitamin C is a good nutrient for supporting the body’s immune system and is added randomly to many foods – sometimes it appears on the ingredient list as ascorbic acid, sometimes as a preservative,” says Amy Gorin.
7. Grape juice
Orange juice isn’t the only way to drink vitamin C. One of Gorin’s most popular drinks for an antioxidant boost is 100% Concord grape juice, one of those healthier juices than she thinks. “It is an excellent source of vitamin C, providing 120 percent of the daily value per serving,” she says. “Vitamin C and the phytonutrients in 100 percent Concord grape juice may contribute to a healthy immune system.
This trendy fermented tea is flying off grocery store shelves across the country, and for a good reason. It is loaded with many vital nutrients that keep your immune system in a ready-to-fight state, such as B-complex vitamins, vitamin C, and zinc. Kombucha also contains several probiotic strains good for the gut and known for their immune-boosting properties, explains Scott Schreiber, RD, a chiropractor, and certified nutritionist. Sugar is used in the fermentation procedure, so Schreiber recommends avoiding brands with added sugar, as this can compromise their effectiveness.
Yogurt is one of the best foods to eat when you have a cold because it is a good source of protein, especially Greek yogurt, which plays a role in the body’s defense mechanisms, Miller explains. Choose live culture types, and you will get probiotics or “good bacteria” that can help alleviate the severity of colds. Also, look for yogurts fortified with vitamin D, as Miller finds that low vitamin D levels have been linked to an increased risk of colds and flu. If you’re not feeling well, he advises opting for a single-serving container with a mild flavor that you can stand, such as vanilla. “Top with nuts or seeds and new berries to increase essential fatty acids, fiber, and vitamin C.”
10. Nuts and nut butter
In either form, pure or pureed, walnuts are a great way to increase the protein content in your diet and add some essential fats to your diet when you are sick. Nuts and seeds are also excellent disease fighters. “Essential fats can help keep your skin and mucous membranes healthy and prevent intruders from entering your body,” explains Dr. Adams. “Nuts and seeds are also rich in selenium, vitamin D, zinc, and copper, all of which are important ingredients for maintaining and strengthening your immune system.” On the other hand, these are the foods you should not eat when you have a cold.
11.- Sweet potatoes
You probably already know that sweet potatoes, possibly nature’s healthiest vegetable, are a great addition to many meals, but did you know they are also loaded with immune-boosting nutrients like vitamin A? “A medium-sized sugary potato provides more than 100 percent of your daily vitamin A, a vitamin that helps regulate the immune system and protect against infection by keeping skin and internal tissues healthy,” says Miller. Are you tired of mashed potatoes when you feel down? Try the sweet potato tostadas. Miller’s Recipe: Cut a sweet potato into ¼-inch vertical slices, turn the toaster on the highest setting, and toast the slices 2-3 times or until tender. Cover your toast with what you like best: nut butter, banana slices, and cinnamon; Nut butter and raisins; a poached egg and mashed avocado; black beans and cheese; grated parmesan and fresh basil. The possibilities are endless.
12 cruciferous vegetables
Sure, you might not feel like a pan when battling a stuffy nose and itchy throat, but cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, pak choi, and kale are full of nutrients to help you recover. Another reason these vegetables should be added to your shopping list of the best cold foods. “Broccoli in specific contains vitamin E, an antioxidant and a secondary plant substance that is ideal for colds and flu,” says Schreiber. She suggests filling whatever you can, either in soup, salad, or raw, with some Greek yogurt dressing or sauce.
This aromatic flowering plant is not only suitable for spices. “Ginger is also identified for its ability to relieve cold symptoms by relieving constipation and increasing blood flow to the body,” says Miller. “It has an ingredient called gingerol, which is known for its antimicrobial properties.” Take a look at the many health benefits of ginger. He recommends sprinkling ground ginger over roasted carrots, sweet potatoes, pumpkin, or buying unsweetened ginger tea, which can also relieve sore throats.
There’s a reason everyone from your mom to your doctor tells you to stay hydrated, especially when you’re feeling unwell, because our body consists of almost 60 percent water, which means that it needs a lot of material to function correctly. “When we become dehydrated, every system in our body suffers, especially the immune system,” explains Dr. Adams. For this reason, water and other calorie-free drinks are essential to fighting disease. Sugar-free supplements or even citrus juices can improve your water taste when you are sick and encourage you to drink more. Coffee and tea are okay too, but your stomach can’t take them well when you feel bad. Watch for signs that your cold may be worse as you try to get better.
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