The spring transition marks the height of the flu season but a few dietary adjustments can make a big difference.
A recent study found that 23 percent of U.S. adults are worried that they do not get the proper amount of nutrients from their regular diet.
"It’s important that we maintain a healthy diet year round but this is especially true this time of year when we are exposed to a variety of illnesses," says Dr. Claire Wheeler, traditional and integrative physician and instructor at Portland State University’s School of Community Health.
She has provided simple guidelines for making the most of the nutritional value of available food.
Immunity-boosting vitamin C can be found in bell peppers, broccoli, brussel sprouts and cantaloupes, while carrots, spinach, sweet potatoes and winter squash are a good source of vitamin A, also an antioxidant.
There is plenty of Vitamin E in sunflower seeds, and almonds, while flax seeds and walnuts are sources of essential omega-3 fatty acids.
Garlic has also been shown to be protective against viral infections.
When it comes to meats, cold water fish like salmon are sources of omega-3 fatty acids, and oysters Alaskan king crab and pork shoulder contain zinc, which can help support a healthy immune system.
In some cases, these simple nutritional steps may be all that is necessary to avoid a bad cold and the necessity to take medications.