Last month I got a flu shot and I'll do whatever else I can to stay healthy. I remembered last month's issue of the AARP Bulletin had a list of 9 Natural Flu-Fighting Foods. When I read it I'd been pleasantly surprised to see I already ate many of the foods on a regular basis, but now it was time to look the information up again and put it to good use.
- Black-Eyed Peas (along with pinto beans, peanuts, roasted pumpkin seeds and wheat germ) are full of zinc, a mineral that helps keep your immune system in working order.
- Carrots (and dark green vegetables, sweet potatoes, pumpkin and winter squash) contain beta-carotene, which your body uses to ward off respiratory infections.
- Tea (green, black, oolong, and decaf varieties, but not herbal) contains compounds that reduce the risk of flu, including quercetin, a powerful antioxidant, and L-theanine, an amino acid found only in tea.
- Yogurt (along with its fermented cousins cottage cheese, kimchi, and sauerkraut) are full of probiotics, the beneficial bacteria that strengthen the immune system.
- Tomatoes (including tomato juice) are loaded with Vitamin C which boosts the body's natural defense system.
- Mushrooms are rich in selenium, which increases the body's resistance to viral infections.
- Almonds are a rich source of Vitamin E that helps your body ward off viral infections. (Chopped almonds, almond butter, or almond oil are best to maximize the vitamin absorption)
- Salmon is high in vitamin D, which the immune system needs to kill harmful bacteria and viruses. Wild salmon has more Vitamin D than farm-raised salmon, but it's also a good source.
- And, although it may not prevent the flu, Chicken Soup can help your immune system fight off the virus in its early stages, thanks to a compound called carnosine. The only catch--a 2012 study says you need to consume chicken soup throughout your illness to reap its benefit.
Five years ago today: New Thing #315--Extreme