While hand washing, flu shots, and adequate rest are all great ways to ward off the common cold, the following foods will also boost immunity and keep a nasty virus at bay.

  1. Fatty Fish: Rich in omega-3 fatty acids, protein, vitamin B6, and iron, fatty fish are a great way to keep immune system functioning at an optimal level. Aim to include salmon, tuna, sardines, or anchovies 2-3 times/week.
  2. Fortified Milks: Cow, soy, and rice milk are all typically fortified with Vitamin D. This important vitamin may be effective in defending against viral attacks by strengthening protective cells in the respiratory tract. Vitamin D is found in: fatty fish, egg yolks, fortified orange juices, cereals, and fortified yogurts.
  3. Seeds: While all seeds have immune boosting potentials, the most noteworthy options include: pumpkin, anise, and fennel seeds. Rich in zinc, and these choices can be great as snacks or steeped in teas.
  4. Tea: Black or green, teas are high in catechins, an antioxidant that has flu fighting properties.
  5. Vitamin C Rich Foods: This includes citrus fruits (oranges, grapefruit, blueberries, lemons, and limes) and vegetables such as peppers.
  6. Beta-Carotene: Another antioxidant that can be found in a number of foods including: kale, collards, mustard greens, arugula, sweet potatoes, squash, cantaloupe, and carrots.
  7. Garlic: High in allicin, a sulfuric compound that produces antioxidants when it decomposes.
  8. Honey: Known in many cultures to have medicinal properties, use frequently but sparingly in teas, and yogurts.
  9. Mushrooms: White button, Portobello, shiitake, and maitake all count.
  10. This vegetable is rich in antioxidants, potassium, B vitamins and fiber.
  11. Dark Chocolate: High in disease fighting polyphenols, dark chocolate, when consumed in moderation (1/4 oz per day) is a great choice. Stick with varieties that aren’t loaded with sugars or saturated fats and aim for one with a cocoa content of 70% or higher.



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