If you’ve ever had the flu (and chances are you have!), then you know how awful you feel when you have it and how it can leave you confined to your bed for days. But did you know that there are things you can do, besides simple hand washing, that can help keep you healthy and flu-free?
The foods you eat can boost your immunity and help fight off the flu. Ever since Tammy got the flu last New Year’s Eve, we’ve been eating these foods regularly, and here’s why.
1. Nuts. They’re a great antioxidant-packed snack. Nuts have selenium, zinc and magnesium, which help fight infection. Keep portions to a small handful or about 1/4 cup since calories add up quickly, and a full cup can be 1000 calories or more for many types of nuts. Here’s how to do it:
2. Salmon. Get two, 3-ounce servings of fatty fish like salmon (or herring) a week for omega-3 fats. Omega-3s are a powerful anti-inflammatory that keep the body healthy. They not only decrease inflammation, they increase airflow and protect lungs from colds and respiratory infections. Try these suggestions to help keep your lungs free of infection.
3. Mushrooms. Mushrooms contain vitamin D, which boosts immunity. One study showed that people with the lowest levels of vitamin D were 36 percent more likely to have upper respiratory infections compared with those with the most vitamin D. Consuming mushrooms regularly stimulates the immune system by increasing the production of white blood cells, which help your body fight off infection. Boost your immunity and your mushroom intake with these suggestions:
4. Tea. It’s packed with powerful antioxidants that protect against disease. Tea also contains theanine, an amino acid that helps to keep you calm and focused, which in turn decreases stress. When you’re less stressed, your body is less taxed, and you’re less likely to succumb to illness. Try these tips to lower your stress:
5. Yogurt. Yogurt contains probiotics which increase the good bacteria in your body and crowd out the bad bacteria, helping to keep you healthy. Use these tips to kiss the bad bacteria goodbye:
6. Bell Peppers. Bell peppers contain antioxidants that mop up free radicals. Free radicals damage your body and weaken it. Bell peppers are exceptional because they allow you to follow our red, orange and green rule– at every meal, be sure to have one fruit or vegetable that’s red, orange or green to ensure you’re getting adequate antioxidants to stay healthy. And, bell peppers come in all three colors!