Proper nutrition may help you survive the flu season
September 18, 2009 by Spencer Cameron
While hand-washing and cough-covering is very important, experts are saying there is a range of flu-fighting foods that may help vulnerable individuals get throughout the difficult season.
"[While it is] important to eat a variety of healthy foods from all food groups throughout the year, adding flu-fighting [items] like yogurt, garlic, citrus and chicken to your diet [during flu season] can boost your body’s immune system and help you to avoid getting sick," stresses Andrea Garen, a registered dietitian.
She says yogurt and other cultured milk products contain probiotics – beneficial bacterial strains that have been shown to boost the immune system and promote digestive health.
In addition to live cultures, dairy products are also rich in vitamin D, which has similar immune benefits, and recent research has found many Americans are deficient in the vitamin, which may be linked to a seasonal increase in colds and flu and a higher incidence of respiratory infections.
Crushing garlic cloves before adding them to food to release the garlic juice will also allow one to reap the immune-enhancing benefits of that herb.
Finally, any immunity-boosting diet should include citrus fruits that are rich in vitamin C as well as chicken, meat and peanuts that contain zinc.
For those who are too busy to regularly consume immunity-enhancing foods there are nutritional supplements with vitamins C and D that can lower the risk of getting the flu.