Cold and flu season may not be here yet, but there’s something even more punishing about summer sickness, isn’t there? Try these immune-boosting foods to stay healthy all year round!
Whether you’re recovering from a wretched stomach bug or trying to avoid catching the cold that’s making the rounds through your office, there are certain foods that can help your body fight back. Below are some tips for avoiding those germs and a list of six immune boosting foods to give you an extra edge.
Healthy Habits to Avoid Cold and Flu
There are a few behavioral things that you can do to help give germs the boot.
+ Wash your hands like it’s your job. Really. Any time you touch something that might have germs. It might feel like overkill, but this is the #1 way I’ve found to avoid getting sick when people around me are sick.
+ Sleep. A lot. Your body needs rest to fight those germs! Nap if you can, and go to bed embarrassingly early.
+ Avoid sick people. Obviously, this isn’t always easy, especially if the sick person you’re avoiding is part of your family. When my husband or I has a cold, the well person sleeps on the guest bed. That might sound extreme, but we’ve both dodged illnesses from the other person this way.
+ Water, water, water. All day long. If you can stomach it, add 1 tablespoon unfiltered apple cider vinegar (ACV) to your water. ACV has good bacteria that helps your gut defend itself. You can add other fermented foods to your diet for more benefits, too!
OK, so the whole tip about water sort of starts treading on the area of diet, so let’s get to those immune boosting foods!
6 Immune Boosting Foods to Fight Cold and Flu
1. mushrooms – Shrooms are a good dietary source of vitamin D, and vitamin D is proven to help you fight the flu.
2. dark leafy greens – Can you say superfood? These veggies are full of vitamins and antioxidants that help shore up your immune system.
3. citrus – Get your vitamin C on!
4. legumes – Peas and beans are a good source of lean, easy-to-digest protein, which your body needs to fight sickness.
5. garlic – Garlic is packed with anti-microbial goodness. You get the most benefit from raw garlic. The way I work raw garlic into my food is to add it at the end. So, if you have a big bowl of soup or plate of veggies, stir a minced clove into your food just before you sit down to eat it.
6. applesauce – If your stomach is feeling a little bit iffy, make this quick, easy applesauce. Applesauce is easy on the belly and has nutrients that help you get better faster. I discovered recently that you can make small-batch applesauce in the rice cooker! Just chop up 4-5 apples and toss them in with about 1 cup water. Turn on the cooker, and when it clicks off, instant applesauce!
Have any of you guys successfully avoided a wave of sickness? I’d love to hear what habits and foods helped you stay well this cold and flu season!