Immune-boosting foods can help you fight the flu.

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Immune-Boosting Foods to Help Fight the Flu

The flu⁤ is an unpleasant illness that can turn our worlds upside down and‍ affect productivity for days or even weeks.⁤ It’s no surprise, then, why so ​many of us are ⁢looking for ways ‌to protect‌ ourselves against it. Research shows that a proper‌ diet⁣ is an important part ⁤of an effective flu prevention plan, and that there are certain immune-boosting foods that can help fight the flu. In this article, we’ll explore which ⁣foods contain powerful infection-fighting properties, and how to work these superfoods into an⁤ effective flu-fighting regimen.

Nutrients to Look​ For

Consuming certain nutrients helps us arm our immune systems against the flu and other‍ illnesses, as our bodies need those nutrients in ⁢order to create the antibodies needed ⁤to fight off​ viruses. Here are a few important ones to include when selecting flu-fighting foods:

  • Vitamin C: ⁣This vitamin⁤ is normally found in citrus fruits, and offers antioxidant protection and strengthens our bodies against infection.

  • Vitamin A: Essential for boosting cell‍ production and helping our bodies repair damage from infection.

  • Potassium: Helps regulate the central nervous system’s development and helps ⁣reduce inflammation.

  • Fiber: Aids in ‍digestion and helps the body absorb ⁣essential vitamins and minerals.

  • Zinc: Helps create and ⁢activate T-cells that trigger and orchestrate an infection-fighting attack.

  • Selenium: Offers antioxidant ⁣protection and helps to activate antibodies that can fight off invading cells.

  • Iron: Helps our⁢ cells get the oxygen they need to perform their jobs properly.

The Best Immune-Boosting⁢ Foods For‌ Fighting the Flu

Once you ​know which nutrients can help fight flu-causing viruses, it’s time to find the best foods that contain these nutrients and can help you gear ⁤up ⁣for battle! Here⁣ are some of the most effective immune-boosting foods:

Citrus Fruits

Citrus fruits are packed ‌with vitamin⁤ C, and‌ are the go-to for most people looking to ​amp up their flu-fighting defense. Oranges, lemons, limes, and grapefruit are all tasty sources of this potent nutrient.

Garlic and Onion

Garlic and onion⁢ are versatile ingredients‌ that contain powerful ⁣compounds which help stimulate the immune system. These compounds‍ also help to ​reduce inflammation​ and support digestion.

Spinach, Kale, And Other Dark Leafy Greens

Dark-leafy greens are not⁤ only​ great sources of nutrients like iron, fiber,​ and calcium, but they’re also packed with antioxidants and phytochemicals. For a powerful flu-fighting boost, make sure to include spinach or kale in your daily meals.


Berries like strawberries, blueberries, and blackberries are some⁣ of⁣ the most nutrient-rich foods⁣ out there. ⁤These⁢ powerhouses contain high amounts of vitamins⁢ A and C, as well as fiber and ⁣antioxidants. Eating a handful of these daily can help you build a strong ⁤immune system.

Fatty Fish (Salmon, Tuna, Mackerel)

Adding these fish to your weekly meal plan can provide ⁤you with essential​ omega-3 fatty ‍acids that can help lessen inflammation in the body. Fatty fish are also⁤ rich in selenium, which​ helps to activate antibodies to fight infection.

Sweet Potatoes

These nutritious spuds offer plenty‍ of benefits. Not only are they full ⁤of fiber, ⁣vitamins, and minerals, but‍ they’re also a great source of vitamin C and⁤ potassium.


Yogurt is a great immune-boosting food because it contains probiotics, which help to maintain⁢ the ⁢balance of healthy bacteria in⁢ our gut. The healthy gut ⁤bacteria in turn helps to support immunity.‌

Almonds,⁣ Cashews, ‍and‍ Peanuts

Nuts like almonds, cashews,‌ and peanuts are⁤ all great sources of zinc, which ⁤helps to create and activate ⁢T-cells and‍ orchestrate an infection-fighting attack. Almonds and cashews also contain‌ healthy fats and vitamin E for extra immune-boosting power.

Benefits of an⁣ Immune-Boosting Diet

There’s no doubt that an immune-boosting diet can⁣ help fight against the flu virus, but there ⁢are other benefits as well. A⁣ nutrient-dense diet helps to reduce inflammation in the body and encourages cell repair, both of which support ⁢an overall ‍healthier body. It ⁢can also help prevent⁣ chronic diseases like diabetes,⁢ cardiovascular disease, and cancer.

Practical Tips For⁣ Incorporating Immune-Boosting Foods

Now that you know which foods can ‌help you fight off the flu, it’s time to​ put your knowledge ‍into practice. Here are some practical tips for incorporating immune-boosting foods into your​ daily diet:

  • Create a weekly meal plan with some of the foods from the list, like nuts for⁤ snacking,‌ salmon for dinner,‍ or yogurt for breakfast.

  • Try to⁢ include some of these foods into your meals each day.

  • Choose whole foods whenever​ possible – they contain the most nutrients.

  • Cook with‍ garlic and ⁤onion ‍to add an extra ⁣flu-fighting ⁢punch​ to your dishes.

  • Add a handful of nuts to your ⁢salad for extra‍ nutrition.

  • Snack on citrus ⁢fruits or berries⁤ as a quick, healthy pick-me-up.

  • Keep dark leafy greens on hand and add them⁤ to salads, soups,‍ sandwiches, ‍and more.

  • Make sure to ⁢drink ​plenty of fluids to stay hydrated as you’re fighting the flu.


Fighting off the ⁢flu can​ be tough, but with ‌the right tools and ‌knowledge, you can arm your immune system to give those viruses a run for their money. Adding the right immune-boosting⁣ foods to your daily diet can help you create an effective flu-fighting regimen and help you build a stronger, ‍healthier body.

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:
  • Adults should get seven to nine hours of sleep each day, while children need eight to 14 hours, depending on age.
  • Healthy ways to cope with stress include meditating, listening to music, or journaling.
  • Physical activity is another strategy to manage stress and may reduce the risk of some chronic diseases that can weaken your immune system.

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:
  • Beta carotene
    Beta carotene is found in plant foods such as sweet potatoes, spinach, carrots, mangoes, broccoli, and tomatoes.
  • Vitamin C-rich foods include citrus fruits, berries, melons, tomatoes, bell peppers, and broccoli.
  • Vitamin D is found in fatty fish and eggs. Milk and 100% juices fortified with vitamin D are also good sources.
  • Zinc
    Zinc tends to be better absorbed from foods such as beef and seafood, but it’s also found in plant-based sources, including wheat germ, beans, nuts, and tofu.
  • Probiotics
    Probiotics are good bacteria that promote health. You’ll find them in cultured dairy products, such as yogurt, and in fermented foods, such as kefir and kimchi.
  • Protein comes from animal and plant sources, including milk, yogurt, eggs, beef, chicken, seafood, nuts, seeds, beans, and lentils.

Stay healthy. Meanwhile, here are some dishes that incorporate immune-boosting foods:

Chicken noodle soup with dill

6 people

  • 10 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 3 medium carrots, diced
  • 1 large stalk celery, diced
  • 3 tablespoons minced fresh ginger
  • 6 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 4 ounces Whole-wheat egg noodles (3 cups)
  • 4 cups shredded cooked skinless chicken breast (about 1 pound)
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice, or to taste

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

Serves 4
Serve as condiment with chicken steak, fish, fried eggs, or toast.

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 cup yellow onions, diced
  • 1 teaspoon ground mustard seed
  • ⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • ⅛ teaspoon ground allspice
  • ⅛ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 cups tomatoes, peeled and diced
  • 2 cups apples, unpeeled and diced
  • ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • ¾ teaspoon salt (decrease if on sodium restriction)

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.

One comment

  1. Disinfecting surfaces is also important
    Absolutely! Eating a balanced diet of immune-boosting foods and keeping surfaces clean is a great way to fight the flu.

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