With the cold and flu season raging on, and the flu shot missing the mark on this years’ suspected virus strains, you may be seeking out ways to boost your immune system a bit. Luckily, you can consume a nice balance of superfoods, like fruit, honey, yogurt and beef, to bolster your body’s defenses. Consuming these foods in moderation provides your immune system with the vitamins and minerals it needs to fight against cold and flu viruses going around this season. Read on to learn about all of the specific benefits of each immune boosting super food.
You can perk up your system by eating different local fruits as they come into harvest season. Fruits contain plenty of vitamin C, folate and antioxidants that help your body resist viral infections. By choosing local varieties, you can keep allergy symptoms from decreasing the strength of your immune system. Otherwise, diminished immune defenses could allow viruses to get the best of you. You can find local fruit varieties by going to a farmer’s market or small grocery store in your city. You can also talk to neighbors who have fruit trees in their yards. Most fruit trees drop way more produce than a single family can consume before it goes bad.
To further prevent allergies from messing up your immune response, add local honey to your daily diet. Honey produced locally contains pollen from flowers that commonly grow in your area, including pervasive wildflower species. Furthermore, honey provides plenty of immune-supporting nutrients, including antioxidants, vitamin C, potassium, magnesium and vitamin B.
Since the high heat pasteurization process may destroy nutrients, it’s often recommended that you consume honey in its raw form instead. To find locally produced, raw honey, ask your neighbors if they know any budding beekeepers or visit the farmer’s market to find a stand.
An illness originating in your digestive tract can weaken your immune system and put you at risk of catching a cold or flu. To keep your digestive system in good shape, eat a serving or two of yogurt several times a week. Yogurt contains beneficial bacteria that kill harmful pathogens before they can cause distressing symptoms. Furthermore, yogurt offers impressive amounts of B vitamins, potassium and magnesium in each serving. If you do not favor the tangy taste of yogurt, try the mild Greek varieties instead.
Doctors often prescribe zinc tablets to prevent cold and flu symptoms in sensitive individuals. Once the flu sets in, zinc supplements can reduce symptom duration significantly. You can obtain your zinc naturally by eating a beef in the form of a hamburger, steak or roast. If you prefer, you could snack on beef jerky to give your body the zinc it craves.
Remember to always consume foods in moderation to avoid overdoing it with the carbs and calories. If you ever feel like your vitamin or mineral levels are off, have your doctor run a blood test to identify and treat nutrient deficiencies.