Summer is a memory and we are well into fall. We all know what that means. Flu season is just around the corner. Fever, aches, chills, cough, runny nose, sore throat – you wouldn’t wish them on your worst enemy. Well maybe you would, but you certainly don’t want them yourself! With the cold and flu season approaching, you need to know which nutrients will help you stay healthy.

Here’s my cheat sheet.

The Best Foods For Beating The Flu

1. Increase your vitamin D levels by eating wild salmon, tuna, shitake mushrooms and egg yolks.

Consider taking a vitamin D supplement, especially if you don’t get enough sunshine to synthesize vitamin D in the fall and winter. If you have low levels, that will lower immunity.

2. Enjoy foods high in vitamin C.

Our bodies do not produce or store vitamin C, so we need to be constantly replenishing it. We think of citrus fruit right off the top, but red and yellow peppers, broccoli, cauliflower, kiwi and dark leafy greens like kale, all contain more vitamin C per serving than an orange.

3. Up your beta-carotene consumption.

This vitamin A precursor promotes production of white blood cells and is found in orange vegetables such as sweet potato, pumpkin, and carrot as well as kale.

4. Add fermented foods like kefir, sauerkraut, kimchee, miso and olives to your diet.

These foods are high in probiotic, friendly bacteria which have a powerful effect on your immune system.

5. For a triple hit, sip green tea with a couple of thin slices of ginger and a teaspoon of honey.

Anti-oxidants in green tea boost immunity, while ginger has anti-inflammatory properties and honey is anti-bacterial. What more can you ask?

6. Bring on the berries!

A powerful source of antioxidants, they are potent immune boosters. Add blueberries or raspberries to your oatmeal, smoothie or baking.

7. Garlic isn’t just good for warding off vampires, it stimulates the production of white blood cells and antibodies.

It is antiviral, antifungal and antibacterial to boot. Easily added to soups and stews, it is also a great flavor addition. So now you have no excuse. Start off the season with the right nutrients and you’ll boost not only your immunity but your chance to skip cold and flu season altogether.

About the author

Karen Southgate

A certified nutritionist, freelance writer, blogger, mother of two, happy wife and foodie. I have always been passionate about food and its role as a building block in our health and wellness. There are few things I find more inspiring than a farmers market on a Saturday morning! I love a good read, hiking with my dog (okay, husband too), spending time with family and friends, and travel.

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