During this cold and flu season, getting sick can happen in a blink of an eye. You can take all of the necessary precautions to prevent sickness, but sometimes the cold or the flu can sneak up on you even if you wash your hands regularly and avoid physical contact.
If you are prone to sickness, it is perhaps a result of your immune system, which is responsible for fending off viruses. Luckily, there are plenty of foods that actually boost your immune system, giving you a fighting chance against the evil cold and flu. Here are five foods that you should consider next time you are at your favorite grocery store; they may just keep you healthy during these cold, dreary months.
Vitamin C has long been considered a treatment for the symptoms associated with the common cold or the flu. But what’s more is that vitamin C can actually prevent the cold, not just treat it. Vitamin C increases white blood cells count, which in turn boosts your immune system to its optimal performance level. But the thing about vitamin C is that your body will not store it, which means that you have to consume vitamin C every day in order to make it work properly.
Red peppers surprisingly have more vitamin C than your traditional citric fruits, like oranges. This means that you can get your vitamin C intake at lunch and at dinner, since most people don’t cook with oranges! But red peppers are not just a one-trick pony; these vegetables are also very high in beta carotenes.
Broccoli has many virus fighters, which makes this green veggie a must-have on your dinner plate. Rich in vitamins A, C, and E plus a heaping helping of antioxidants makes broccoli your best defense against any virus. But to get the most out of your greens, try not to cook them too long, or even better, eat them raw.
Like vitamin C, most people only take ginger after they have already caught a cold or the flu, but it can also function as an effective preventer of the viruses as well. What’s more is that ginger also contains elements that can lower your cholesterol and may even ease chronic pain in the process. Mixing in some ginger with any of your dishes for an extra zest, or even in a tea, should be considered on a daily basis to stave off viruses.
Like broccoli, spinach is rich in vitamin C, a known agent against viruses. But Popeye’s favorite food is not just high in vitamin C, but also beta carotenes and antioxidants. Beta carotenes have been proven to boost your white blood cell production, which in turn allows your body to fight off any viruses that comes its way. And, like broccoli, do your best to eat these greens raw as opposed to cooked, as the healthy elements will be cooked away.