As the summer air wears off and a winter breeze takes over, it is time for an unwanted seasonal flu. The sudden change in weather often brings a viral along with it, where everyone catches a cold and is down with a running nose or high fever.
While it may seem like fighting the seasonal flu is inevitable, it’s a farce. You can win against flu this season if you eat healthily, drink adequate fluids and manage your sleep. Building your immunity against a known viral is extremely important and can mean milder symptoms for a shortened duration even if you get a hold of the sickness.
Compiled from La Crosse Tribune, here is a list of nutrients that can strengthen your immune system and can be found in a variety of foods. These have properties that help fight inflammation, manage your hydration and mobilise mucus.
- Beta carotene
Beta Carotene is essentially a compound that adds a vivid yellow, orange and red colouring to vegetables. You can consume it through plant foods, such as sweet potatoes, spinach, carrots, mango, broccoli and tomatoes. Along with being a vital nutrient for your vision, it helps with cell growth and maintaining healthy organs like the heart, lungs, and kidneys.
- Vitamin C
Winter brings all kinds of berries along with other citrus foods. Add berries, melons, tomatoes, bell peppers and broccoli in your diet to help your body fight off any weakness or drowsiness that the weather brings. It is also recommended by the National Institute of Health to include five to seven servings of vegetables and fruits daily to get immune-boosting vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.
- Vitamin D
Vitamin D helps your immune system fight diseases before they attack the body. It is found in fatty fish and eggs. Milk and 100% juices that are fortified with vitamin D also are sources of this important nutrient.
Zinc holds anti-oxidizing properties and supports our immune system. It tends to be better absorbed from animal sources such as beef and seafood but is also present in vegetarian sources such as wheat germ, beans, nuts and tofu.
Even when you aren’t sick you need protein to keep your body strong. Your body uses it to build strength and keep what you already have. It comes from both animal and plant-based sources, such as milk, yoghurt, eggs, beef, chicken, seafood, nuts, seeds, beans and lentils. Never shy away from adding lean meats to your diet.
- Ginger and green tea
Teas usually soothe your body in times of sickness and give you much-needed warmth. Ginger and green tea contain anti-inflammatory ingredients which aid in prohibiting microorganisms that may cause infections. They also help clear up sinuses and congestion, while reducing coughing.