8 Immune Boosting Foods

Fight cold and flu with food! Here are 8 immune boosting foods to help you through cold and flu season.In our efforts to go a whole cold and flu season without succumbing to the illnesses that can leave us listless and miserable for weeks, many of us will go to great lengths to avoid getting ill. We'll boost up our vitamin intake, wash hands obsessively, and we may even get a flu shot. Yuck! 

We can increase our resistance to the germs that can cause colds and the flu by boosting our immune system. And we don't need fancy, expensive superfoods to do it, either. Many common foods contain potent immune boosting components. Try adding some of these into your diet today:

1. Oatmeal: That's right, start your morning off with a bowl full of oatmeal and you're also giving your immune system a burst of beta-glucan, a fiber that contains potent antimicrobial and antioxidant power that research shows may decrease your risk of coming down with the flu.

2. Tea: Warming up with a cup of tea is not only a soothing ritual in the cooler months, it may also protect you from the germs that cause colds and the flu. Green tea in particular is loaded with immune system friends that can increase your resistance to bacteria and viruses.

3. Sweet Potatoes: Those gorgeous autumn and winter root vegetables contain more than just great flavor, they're an excellent source of beta carotene which keeps your skin strong and healthy and capable of fighting off bacteria that can sneak in through the epidermis.


4. Bell Peppers: They're more than just a pizza topping. Peppers contain an abundance of vitamin C—even more than oranges! Vitamin C is crucial in strengthening the body's immune function and helping to prevent unfriendly invaders from taking over.

5. Turmeric: Make curries a regular part of your meals and you're adding more than just fantastic flavor. Turmeric, the spice that gives curry the yellow color, is one of the strongest antioxidants around. It contains curcumin, a polyphenol with strong cold and flu-fighting properties that has been shown to reduce the risk of coming down with a cold or the flu and helping to kick it out when you do.

6. Ginger: The nobby ginger root is a miraculous superfood. It's loaded with gingerol, a compound that can help reduce our risk of getting infected with common illnesses. It can also help to decrease the inflammation and congestion once we do get sick and it's also a most powerful weapon against nausea. Of course, it tastes amazing, too.

7. Broccoli: This common vegetable is loaded with vitamins such as A,C, and E, which strengthen immune function. It's also an excellent source of glucosinolates, which can play a crucial role in keeping the immune system strong and effective at fighting off germs.

8. Garlic: While I personally loathe the clove, garlic is one of nature's most powerful immune enhancers. It's loaded with allicin, the potent antioxidant that can enhance your immune function and help you get rid of a cold or flu a lot quicker. As soon as you feel it coming on, up your garlic intake and see if it doesn't disappear rather fast.

Keep in touch with Jill on Twitter @jillettinger

Read more:  5 Superfoods for Boosting Immunity

Photo credit: kthread

By Jill Ettinger| July 17, 2013
Categories:  Care

About the Author

Jill Ettinger

Jill Ettinger

Jill Ettinger is a freelance journalist and marketing specialist primarily focused on the organic and natural industries, she bridges her love for changing the food system with her lifelong passion for writing and connecting people in their shared values. You can connect with Jill on Twitter and Instagram.

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