There are many tips to keep cold and flu at bay, like washing hands regularly, getting enough rest, exercise, drinking hot tea, and eating fruits. Yes, you heard it right. Fruit is an overlooked but powerful tool to strengthen your immune system and keep it strong all year long.
Many people are trying well-balanced diets, including certain food items and citrus fruits, to keep the immune system optimal. So, while you are taking all the necessary precautions, add these food items and fruits to your diet to help prevent the cold and flu this season.
Eat these food items and citrus fruits to keep your sickness away
Oranges are good for you not only in winters but any time during the year. These fruits contain immune-boosting vitamin C. Each variety of orange contains more than 100% of the recommended daily intake of vitamin C. You can either eat whole oranges or make orange juice for yourself. Make oranges a regular part of your diet to keep sickness away from you.
Like oranges, grapefruits are also a great source of Vitamin C. Apart from this, grapefruits contain a great amount of Vitamin A and fiber, both of which are known to support your immune system.
Grapefruits are very low in calories and high in water content. That means you can stay hydrated and full at the same time. However, grapefruits have a compound that may hamper your absorption of certain medicines. So, if you’re on medicines, consult your doctor before making grapefruits, a regular part of your diet.
Apples are a powerhouse of flavonoids that reduce the risk of heart disease, diabetes, and cancer. According to several studies, eating an apple can also boost your immune system. You also get vitamins, minerals, and carbohydrates from apples, which keep you energized throughout the day. Plus, you can also munch on this quick and healthy snack while at work or home. When a single fruit has so many benefits, why not give it a chance?
Watermelon is another immune-boosting fruit on the list. A two-cup serving of watermelon has 270 mg of potassium, 30% of the daily value of vitamin A, and 25% of the value of vitamin C. Plus, watermelons have no extra calories, so that you can eat them without any worries.
You also get compounds like glutathione and vitamin B6 from watermelons. Our body needs such compounds for proper immune function. You can either make a fruit salad with watermelon or have a big glass of watermelon lemonade. Some people also enjoy frozen watermelon sorbet.
Blueberries have tons of vitamins known to prevent coughs and colds. They are known to have more antioxidants than any other fruit and vegetables that keep you healthy. Blueberries also have flavonoids that boost your overall health and keep you feeling active during the chilly winter months. Blueberries also have natural antihistamines known to reduce inflammation and minimize symptoms, including the stuffy or runny nose that can bother you while you are sick.
Besides having low calories, pineapples are nutritionally dense. They are also high on flavonoids and phenolic acids that reduce the chances of heart disease, diabetes, and certain cancers. Pineapples are also anti-inflammatory, which works great to reduce cold and flu symptoms and strengthen immune function.
Were you aware that pears have vitamin C? Along with loads of potassium and fiber, they also have anti-inflammatory flavonoids in their peels. So, the next time you eat a pear, make sure you eat it with the skin.
Other Food Items to Eat While Sick
- Garlic – Garlic is in almost every cuisine in the world. It gives food a zingy taste and is a must-have for your health. Early civilization realized the value of garlic in fighting infections; hence is being used in food to keep the immune system strong. The immune-boosting properties in garlic come from allicin and a heavy concentration of sulfur-containing compounds.
- Ginger – Another thing that can benefit you a lot while being sick is ginger. Ginger is said to reduce inflammation that eventually helps to relieve a sore throat and inflammatory illness. Ginger can also help with nausea. You can either add ginger to your food or drink ginger tea.
- Greek Yogurt – Greek yogurt has illness-fighting probiotics and more protein than regular yogurt. Yogurt also contains vitamin D, which aids in regulating the immune system and boosts our body’s natural defenses against diseases. You can eat any yogurt, for that matter, but it’s best to avoid flavourful sweet yogurt as they have loads of sugar in them. You can bring home plain yogurt and drizzle it with honey, dates, or other sweet fruit mentioned above.
- Wild Salmon – Wild salmon is a powerhouse of zinc, a nutrient that helps reduce the symptoms of a cold. To prevent your family and especially your children from getting cold, give them zinc-rich foods. Besides this, salmon is rich in many other nutrients like vitamin D, potassium, and omega-3 fatty acids.
- Turmeric – Turmeric is a spice in many curries. It helps in making our immune system stronger due to the presence of curcumin in it. Turmeric helps the body naturally clear the respiratory tract and fight the infection. Also, the anti-inflammatory properties of turmeric provide relief to the individual having a cold and flu.
The Bottom Line
Variety is the key to strengthen your immune system. Eating just one of these foods won’t be enough; for better results, eat a balanced diet by mixing many things. Pay attention to the recommended daily intake of every food item or nutrient so that you don’t get too little of something while too much of others. Apart from this, make sure you avoid all the things that might worsen your condition, like greased food, spicy food, alcohol, etc.
Eating right is a great start, but you should also practice a few other things to keep your and your family’s immunity strong. To start with, always take enough rest, exercise regularly, reduce stress, etc. If you’re experiencing some severe symptoms, immediately consult a doctor.