You’ve disinfected every inch of your apartment and office space, avoided public transportation, and been extra vigilant about washing your hands, and you’ve still managed to get sick. Ugh, we know how annoying that is. During this time of the year, it’s nearly inevitable you’ll catch a cold at some point, so the best thing you can do is be prepared for when it does strike. One of the best ways to jumpstart your road to recovery is to make sure you’re eating right. Check out these amazing superfoods that have been proven to boost your immune system and speed up your recovery!
Cold season probably has you reaching for grapefruits and oranges to get your fill of vitamin C, but did you know that red bell peppers have up to three times the amount of vitamin C as most citrus fruits? You can easily up your intake by eating this super food raw as an afternoon snack.
Many yogurts are packed with probiotics — healthy bacteria that helps build strong immune systems and lower the risks of other chronic diseases. When shopping for yogurt, look for cartons with The National Yogurt Association’s Live and Active Cultures seal, that way you’ll know you’re buying a brand with a good source of probiotics.
According to the USDA Agriculture Research Service, these berries have the highest levels of active antioxidants of any fresh fruit. They also contain a healthy dose of vitamin C to further boost your immune system.
We all know that drinking a hot cup of tea is one of the easiest and quickest ways to clear up congestion and sooth a sore throat. But aside from alleviating annoying symptoms, tea contains antioxidants called catechins which research suggests help boosts overall immunity.
When it comes to leafy greens, the darker the better, as darker greens have a higher nutrient content. If you’re in the process of preventing or fighting a cold, try adding arugula to your salads. Not only is it packed with nutrients, studies suggest that bitter greens help relieve cold symptoms such as chest and nasal congestion and coughs.
This food is packed with zinc, a mineral that in the proper quantity can significantly rev up your immune system (it’s recommended that women need approximately 8 mg per day). Studies have also shown that pumpkin seeds can reduce the amount of time that cold symptoms last.
If you’ve been really strict about cutting back on carbs lately, a study from Stanford University shows that you might be missing out on nutrients like iron and zinc that help boost your immunity and give you energy. While it’s not an excuse to go overboard, eating whole grain pasta is a great way to ensure you’re getting both of these nutrients.
Oily fish like salmon and tuna are full of omega-3 fatty acids. These compounds are proven to aid in reducing chronic inflammation that can prevent your immune system from functioning at its best.
Yet another antioxidant rich food that can help both prevent and speed up the duration of cold symptoms. It’s most effective when eaten raw, but if that’s too much flavor to handle, garlic extract capsules are a great alternative.
No, it’s not a joke! Per ounce, pure cocoa has more disease fighting antioxidants than most berries, with the added bonus of zinc. Indulging in some dark chocolate can help you fight that cold, but make sure that the benefits aren’t lost in the amount of sugar it contains. For best results, stick to around a quarter ounce per day and look for chocolate with at least a 70% cocoa content.
What are some of your tips for staying healthy during cold and flu season?