There is usually a seasonal outbreak of cold and flu in winter. Many viruses can cause illness, typically cause a high temperature (fever), aches and pains in muscles and joints, a cough and various other symptoms.

While there are no sure-fire cold treatments, there are still things you can do. Unfortunately, cold viruses are very contagious, and even the healthiest of individuals can contract a cold.

Health officials recommend flu shots and frequent hand washing for protection during this season’s flu outbreak, dietitians point to another significant defense weapon: healthy foods.

Even so, foods can offer some assistance in how to prevent cold and flu by helping you develop and maintain a healthy immune system.

Immune-boosting foods can improve your ability to ward off the flu and other health problems. Even a small nutritional deficiency can affect the body’s ability to stay healthy.
A strong immune system doesn’t guarantee your body can fight off every flu bug, but it is a powerful defense. Good nutrition is essential to a strong immune response. The following overview of foods that may boost the immune system:

Protein

Protein is an essential part of your body’s defense system. Sources of protein include seafood, lean meat, poultry, eggs, beans and peas, soy products and unsalted nuts and seeds.

Vitamin A

Vitamin A helps prevent infections by keeping the skin and tissues in the mouth, stomach, lungs and intestines healthy. This nutrient, found in sweet potatoes, carrots, kale, spinach and red bell peppers, also helps the body regulate the immune system.

Vitamin C

Vitamin C triggers the production of immune-boosting antibodies. Oranges, grapefruit, strawberries and tangerines are among the foods rich in vitamin C.

Vitamin E

Vitamin E is an antioxidant that may provide a boost to the immune system. People who want to get more vitamin E in their diet should eat sunflower seeds, almonds, sunflower or safflower oil, hazelnuts, peanut butter or spinach.

Zinc rich foods

Some believe that zinc, a nutrient found in lean beef, wheat germ, crab, wheat bran, sunflower seeds, black-eyed peas, almonds, milk and tofu, may also improve functioning of the immune system.

All this can ensure you’re getting the nutrients your body needs to function and protect itself.
They say you are what you eat, so it makes sense that eating healthy foods can help you stay healthy.

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