Since it is flu season again, most individuals receive flu vaccines and work to stay healthy. Can certain foods or supplements help boost the immune system and aid in the “staying healthy” goal?
Maintain a healthy immune system.
While having a healthy immune system is beneficial during the cold and flu season, consider the following recommendations for keeping your immune system robust all year:
Concentrate on a well-balanced diet.
Don’t miss meals to keep your body fueled. To acquire those immune-boosting vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, aim for five to nine servings of vegetables and fruits every day. One medium piece of fresh fruit, 1 cup of berries or melons, or 1/2 cup of canned fruit packed in its own juice constitutes one serving of fruit. A vegetable serving is 1/2 cup cooked or 1 cup raw. It is usually preferable to obtain these nutrients from foods rather than from vitamin or mineral supplements. Many herbal remedies are offered to help combat colds or decrease their duration, but before taking any supplements or drugs, consult with a health care practitioner. Don’t forget about fluids. Remember to stay hydrated throughout the day. The best option is plain water.
Stop the transmission of pathogens.
Handwashing and good hygiene help keep germs at bay. Always wash produce before eating it or using it in recipes. To minimize the spread and growth of bacteria, clean glasses, forks, spoons, and other utensils.
Increase your sleep and decrease your stress.
To avoid the virus, getting enough sleep and managing stress are equally as crucial as eating well.
According to research, a lack of sleep and excessive stress contribute to sickness and poor overall health, so:
You can get the flu even if you eat well, get plenty of rest, drink lots of water, and control your stress. If this is the case, your illness may not last as long, and you may not feel as miserable.
Here are some immune-boosting vitamin misconceptions and facts:
Chicken soup can make you feel better.
Chicken soup has numerous health benefits, according to the National Institutes of Health. Your favorite recipe most likely contains ingredients that combat inflammation, increase hydration, and stimulate mucus production. Drink plenty of liquids, such as water, broth, or electrolyte-containing sports drinks.
Myth: Vitamin C can keep you healthy.
Vitamin C may lessen the duration of a cold when taken before it begins, but it does not prevent you from becoming ill.
Myth: Dairy causes an increase in mucus production.
You’ve probably heard that milk and other dairy products aggravate congestion during illness. This has not been confirmed by research.
Choose immune-boosting nutrients.
These nutrients are important for immunological health:
Stay healthy. Meanwhile, here are some dishes that incorporate immune-boosting foods:
Chicken noodle soup with dill
Bring the broth to a boil in a Dutch oven. Add carrots, celery, ginger, and garlic; cook uncovered over medium heat until vegetables are just tender, about 20 minutes. Add the noodles and chicken; simmer until the noodles are just tender, 8–10 minutes. Stir in the dill and lemon juice.
Nutrition per serving (1½ cups): 267 calories, 4 g total fat, 2 g saturated fat, 1 g monounsaturated fat, 0 g cholesterol, 38 g protein, 18 g carbohydrates, 2 g dietary fiber, 330 g sodium.
Tomato apple jam
Serve as condiment with chicken steak, fish, fried eggs, or toast.
Heat the olive oil in a pan over medium heat. Sautee onions for two minutes. Then add all the spices; toast, and stir for two minutes. Add the tomatoes, apples, vinegar, and sugar. Mix together and simmer over low heat for 20–30 minutes, stirring occasionally. season to taste.
Nutrition per serving (2 tablespoons): 24 calories, 0.5 g total fat, 0.1 g saturated fat, 0.3 g monounsaturated fat, 0 g cholesterol, 0.3 g protein, 5 g carbohydrates, 1 g dietary fiber, 48 g sodium.