Who doesn’t hate the common cold? The wheezing, coughing, sore throat, runny nose; it’s a nightmare. No medicine or degree of sanitation seems effective enough. However, there is an easy way you can save yourself from the flu, or at least decrease the severity of its attacks. Ever considered the foods that prevent flu? Your savior may have been silently lying in your kitchen all along.
How Can Foods Prevent the Flu?
It is not guaranteed that eating certain foods will surely save you from the flu. However, there are some foods that significantly enhance your immunity and help the body fight infection. The idea is simple: eating better makes you healthier, which improves your immunity, making you less susceptible to infection and disease. Eating plenty of fruits, vegetables, protein, healthy fats and whole grains provides the body with enough nutrients to considerably boost the immune system.
Mushrooms are considered as important anti-flu foods. The selenium present in them helps the white blood cells in producing cytokines. These compounds aid in fighting off and finishing sickness. Moreover, mushrooms contain a vital fiber that has antimicrobial properties, known as beta-glucan. This aids in the activation of immune cells that rid the body of infections.
2. Red-bell Peppers
This food item can work well with a variety of dishes, and some people even eat them whole! Red bell peppers contain twice the amount of vitamin C as compared to oranges. Vitamin C not only fends off illnesses, but also decreases the severity and duration of the disease.
Chronic inflammation and anxiety contribute to lowering immunity, as well as developing colds and other serious ailments. Oily fishes such as tuna, salmon and mackerel, are rich sources of omega-3 fatty acids. These compounds help reduce these two symptoms in the body, thus reducing your chances of catching the flu. Salmon also contains Vitamin D, which plays a role in preventing respiratory infections.
Green tea is an ideal drink in the list of foods that prevent flu. Not only does it help clear congestion, it is the best source of catechins. These plant compounds prevent oxidative damage to cells, and also have an overall calming effect.
Studies have shown that the sulfur present in garlic kills viruses and prevents diseases. The strong-smelling phytochemical allicin in garlic is also an antimicrobial agent. Garlic has a strong potential in preventing flu, but a very high dose is required for it to affect your health.
6. Fermented Foods
What better to fight bacteria with, well, bacteria? Fermented foods such as yogurt and cheese contain probiotics and prebiotics. These gut-friendly bacteria help eliminate the disease-causing germs that cause various illnesses, including the common cold.
Oysters are among the foods that prevent flu due to their zinc content. This essential mineral has been proven to fight the flu. Oysters contain more zinc per serving than any other food. However, to avoid other infections, it is advised not to eat them raw.
8. Dark Chocolate
Now isn’t that amazing news! Increased amounts of cocoa support specialized cells of the immune system known as T-helper cells. These cells enhance the ability of the immune system to fight infections. However, don’t go on a chocolate all-you-can-eat joyride. Consuming too much chocolate may inhibit some of the good effects it has. Indulge moderately.
9. Anise Seeds and Fennel
Anise seeds and fennel both have antibacterial properties. Both of these are known to relieve congestion and coughing. The best way to consume anise seeds is in your tea. Add a little cinnamon, ginger and a teaspoon of honey to it, and you have the ultimate preventive medicine against flu.
Here’s something healthy to munch on. Almonds are good sources of vitamin E, which is an immunity-enhancer. Eating a handful of almonds a day reduces your chances of developing respiratory issues. To further increase your daily intake, go for fortified cereals.
11. Yellow and Green Vegetables
Vegetables such as carrots and sweet potatoes contain beta-carotene. Once consumed, this compound is converted into vitamin A inside the body. Vitamin A increases T-cell production and enhances overall immunity.