Winter is a perilous time if you have a compromised immune system, but you cannot stay alone inside throughout the whole season. You have to get on with your daily life, and just hope you do not succumb to other people’s bugs and illnesses. The flu occurs when a virus enters your respiratory system and affects you for roughly two weeks. Proper nutrition during a bout with the flu can help to limit the severity and duration of the illness, which helps to prevent the flu from escalating into pneumonia. However, there are some foods that can help you avoid catching a cold in the first place and lessen the symptoms if you do. We have put together a list of some foods that are known for their cold-busting properties.
ineapple: In a recent study, researchers found that eating 1/2 cup of pineapples every day for two months helped boost participants' immune systems. That is probably because pineapple is packed with nutrients that boost your body's production of granulocytes, which are what make up white blood cells. Since white blood cells are your body's first line of defense against bacteria and flu bugs, having a healthy count as you head into flu season is key for staving off infection.
Cabbage: This inexpensive winter vegetable is a source of glutamine, which has been noted to strengthen the immune system. Try it in your winter soups and stews, or throw shredded raw cabbage onto your sandwiches or salads to add a fun crunch.
Yogurt: Yogurt is full of all kinds of goodness for your gut—and your best friend when it comes to fortifying yourself against nasty stomach flu. It has been found in studies that the disease-fighting probiotics in yogurt help to prevent your worst cold and flu symptoms. Doctors recommend grabbing some Greek yogurt as an afternoon snack this season to help you stay healthy.
Pumpkins: Pumpkins are good as their rich, orange flesh is packed with beta carotene, a nutrient that the body breaks down to make vitamin A. Vitamin A helps the proteins that regulate cell-to-cell communication, which is the foundation of the immune system.
Broccoli: Broccoli, with its intense green color and dense florets, just looks healthy. Broccoli would, for sure, be foods with extremely potent antioxidant compounds to help fight disease. In the winter, when some of the more exotic fruits may be of lesser quality than the summer, broccoli and other cruciferous vegetables are an excellent -- and cheap -- source of vitamins A, C and E. In addition, broccoli is high in glucosinolates which stimulate the body's immune system. Broccoli is a doubly powerful food because of its high concentration of sulforaphanes, which are potent anti-cancer agents.
Mushrooms: Mushrooms contain selenium, deficiency of which may cause increased risk of developing flu. The riboflavin and niacin found in mushrooms are also associated with a healthy immune system. Try adding a handful to pasta sauce or eggs and omelettes, or throwing them on top of a homemade pizza. Mushrooms are also delicious when simply sautéed or roasted with a little olive oil and salt and pepper.
Carrots And Sweet Potatoes: Orange fruits and vegetables, such as carrots and sweet potatoes, are rich in beta-carotene. When we eat these foods, our bodies convert this organic compound into vitamin A, which is essential for maintaining a strong immune system. Vitamin A is especially important for areas that go haywire when we catch a cold: it keeps the mucous membranes that line our nose and throat—one of the body's first lines of defense—healthy.