7 Foods That Will Help Prevent Cold & Flu
Every year, adults suffer approximately 2-3 colds per year and approximately 5%-20% of Americans come down with the flu, usually between October to March. That means lost work days, doctor’s visits, and oh, yeah, feeling absolutely miserable till it’s over. No one has the time or energy for all that, so we’ve created a list of 7 of the best foods to help fight colds & flu. Read on, then stock up this winter to be your healthiest self!
1. Wild Salmon: Once we hit Daylight Savings and the hours of sunlight a day decreases, your Vitamin D levels can too. Why does this matter? Vitamin D is important in fending off colds &flu - in fact, research shows people who have enough Vitamin D suffer fewer respiratory tract infections than those who are low on it. Lucky for you, wild salmon has plenty of it. Salmon also includes lots of omega-3 fatty acids, something that aids in reducing inflammation in the body. This is vital because chronic inflammation weakens your immune system and you kind of need a boosted one to help ward off colds & flu. Finally, salmon is full of zinc which has been proven to assist in reducing symptoms of the common cold.
2. Dark Chocolate: You already know dark chocolate, in moderation, is good for you but did you know it can help fight off colds? That’s because it contains tons of antioxidants known as polyphenols (more than most berries actually!) and it’s loaded with zinc. Plus, it contains lots of theobromine, an antioxidant that has been proven to help alleviate coughing. Just remember the key word - MODERATION!
3. Leafy Greens: It’s not just citrus that’s chock full of Vitamin C, leafy greens are too! And when it comes to greens, the darker they are the more nutrients they contain. So go for ones like spinach, kale, or arugula. Plus, bitter greens like arugula may also help relieve sniffles, coughs, and chest congestion.
4. Sweet Potatoes: These guys (and other orange veggies) are full of beta-carotene. This is important because when we eat beta-carotene it’s then converted into Vitamin A in the body and Vitamin A is essential to having a strong immune system. Vitamin A also helps keep mucous membranes - one fo our body’s first lines of defense - functioning properly.
5. Garlic: Garlic has gotten a reputation as one of the best cold-fighting foods out there. Why? It contains allicin, a compound that produces strong antioxidants, giving garlic antimicrobial and antibacterial properties. It’s packs the biggest punch when eaten raw, but you can absolutely take a supplement instead if the thought makes you cry.
6. Yogurt: You already know yogurt contains probiotics which are good bacteria for your gut. What you might not know is that probiotics can also lower the risk of upper respiratory tract infections and help prevent & treat the common cold.
7. Chia Seeds: These seeds are great for helping fight colds & flu because they have loads of anti-inflammatory antioxidants, vitamins & minerals that support immunity, plus magnesium which encourages healthy sleep.
Incorporate these foods into your diet this winter and you’ll have a much better chance of staying healthy. If having time to go to the store & finding meals to go with these ingredients seems overwhelming, Top Chef Meals can help pick up the slack. We have meals with salmon like Oriental Sesame Salmon or Seared Salmon Cakes, plenty of leafy green & sweet potato sides, plus Chocolate Chia Granola for a snack. Order your meals today to be delivered to your door before the holidays!