Fight the Flu: Using Food to Stay Healthy
It's that time of year again: Flu season.
We always know it's coming but it still seems to take us by surprise. It's always in the media and most people don't protect themselves until it becomes an epidemic. Here in Chicago, Illinois, the flu has hit hard. Many schools have shut down due to large numbers of students being sick. And every year, the strain of flu that the vaccination is developed to fight is a gamble. The researchers themselves claim that it is hard to protect against all the strains of flu as they keep changed and it's a prediction game. So what else can we do to protect ourselves other than getting the vaccination? With food!
Eating healthy can build a strong immune system so start preventing and fighting for your health by choosing what you put into your mouth. Eating the following foods can help you fight off anything that comes your way.
Think of these 3 things when choosing foods to fight off the flu: Vitamin C, Zinc and Allium.
Vitamin C [Daily Needs about 75 - 90 mg]
This anti-oxidant is powerful for athletes, but is also key for keeping your healthy. It works to help with inflammation and heals damaged cells, which is what can happen when you are sick.
- Strawberry (7 mg per strawberry)
- Orange (51 mg)
- Pineapple (79 mg per cup)
- Bell Peppers (95 mg)
- Tomato (17 mg)
- Brussel Sprouts (75 mg per cup)
Zinc [Daily Needs 15 mg per day]
This mineral is important to fight infections, as it is needed by our bodies to develop and create T-cells, our fighter cells. Lower intake of zinc can decrease your immune system and make you more susceptible to getting sick.
- Beef patty (5 mg)
- Fortified cereal (4 mg)
- Yogurt (2 mg)
- Pumpkin Seeds (3 mg per 1/4 cup)
- Spinach, cooked (2 mg per cup)
- Lamb (7 mg per 3 ounces)
- Chickpeas (3 mg per cup)
Allium Family [1-2 servings per day]
Allium is the family of vegetables that contain bulbs, such as garlic, shallots, onions and leeks. These vegetables contain allicin, which has antimicrobial and antibacterial properties, all helping keep your gut healthy, in sickness and in health.
Add just these three components into your diet and you will feel more energy and create a strong shield against any illness.