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Foods To Boost Your Immune System During Cold Season


By Elliot W.

- Nov 7, 2022

It’s not an old wives' tale. Certain foods and the vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients they contain improve your chances of avoiding infections during cold and flu season.

Fruits to Boost Your Immune System

Citrus fruits are a well-known source of vitamin C, which minimizes the effect of respiratory infections. Mangos, kiwis, papayas, and strawberries contain even more vitamin C. Flavonoids in foods like blueberries reduce damage to cells. Blueberries also contain vitamins C and A.

Vegetables to Boost Your Immune System

Foods To Boost Your Immune System During Cold Season

Bell peppers, too, contain more vitamin C than citrus fruits. In addition, red bell peppers, carrots, and sweet potatoes contain vitamin A. Kale, cabbage, cauliflower, brussels sprouts, and all of the vegetables of the Brassicaceae family are packed with nutrients like vitamins A, C, and E. Kale sprouts are a great addition to soups, stews, casseroles, and other dishes. Garlic contains allicin which fights bacterial and other infections.

Meats and Other Proteins to Boost Your Immune System

Shellfish such as lobster, crab, oysters, clams, and mussels contain zinc, which, in small amounts, improves the creation of white blood cells. Shellfish also contain selenium which helps white blood cells produce flu-fighting cytokines. Beef, like shellfish, contains zinc. Poultry such as turkey and chicken contain vitamin B6. When chicken is cooked, it releases an anti-inflammatory amino acid called cysteine that resembles the bronchitis drug acetylcysteine. Salty chicken broth also thins the mucus associated with bronchitis.

Shiitake, maitake, and reishi mushrooms strengthen the activities of white blood cells. Toss mushrooms, carrots, garlic, and kale sprouts into your chicken soup for a super, infection-fighting, comfort food.

In short, the experts agree that the old wives often knew what they were talking about.