Foods That Boost Immunity

Above: Garlic strengthens the immune system
Above: Garlic strengthens the immune system

With cold and flu making its rounds and making people feel miserable and forcing them to call in sick, you might find yourself wanting to load your grocery cart with more foods that’ll help boost your immunity. While eating these foods won’t guarantee a stronger system against falling sick (there are so many factors that come into play, you can’t narrow it down to just eating more of a certain food!), they will contribute to bettering your defence system. And besides, they’re all delicious and nutritious. A few to eat more of this winter:

Garlic

Garlic contains compounds that help to open up your sinuses, and it battles infections and bacteria thanks to the allacin it contains. Throw garlic regularly into your meals if you don’t already a few times a week. (Consider keeping some breath mints handy, though, or risk garlic breath).

Mushrooms

Eat a portobello instead of a burger patty in a bun, throw some sliced white mushrooms into an omelette, include some shiitake in a soup or buy a mix of mushrooms and make a delicious salad. However, you choose to eat them, mushrooms are a great choice this season because they help your body produce more cytokines–those being the cells the fight off infection.

Oranges

This is probably the first food that comes to mind when it comes to fighting off cold and flu. But it’s not just oranges that’ll help boost your immune system but rather all citrus fruit so lemons, limes, tangerines, etc. Also, you’ll want to eat them through the season but definitely include them in your diet when you’ve caught a cold because their high vitamin C content helps reduce the severity and length of your cold.

Yogurt

Do you already eat yogurt every morning for breakfast? Well, keep on doing that. The probiotics in yogurt help keep your intestinal tract healthy by controlling the germs that can cause you sick. Double up your immune boosters by topping your yogurt with some orange slices (see above).

Green tea

Staying well hydrated is always important. In this cold weather, try to sip more green tea, though, if you’re looking for something to build your defences. It is high in polephenols called catechins that may be particularly adept at killing flu germs.

Karen Kwan

Karen Kwan is a freelance writer based in Toronto. Her work has appeared in Flare, Elle Canada and ElleCanada.com, Glow, Metro, Huffington Post Canada, Travelife and Travel + Escape. She also runs her blog, HealthandSwellness.com, where she writes about health, beauty, fitness and lifestyle.

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