3 Foods That Fight Colds and Flu

Image via J. Triepke

Fall is one of my favorite times of the year. The vibrant colors, the reminder that time is passing and things change. It’s invigorating. Our schedules change, the pace picks up after luxuriating in the warmth of summer’s long, lazy days. Our eating patterns change too. There is less time, less veggies grilling on the BBQ, more grab 'n go, less local and fresh fruit available. What better time to shore up your immune system so that you don’t get tackled by a virus this winter season? Fortunately, there are seasonal foods that fight colds and flu.

Food can help or hinder. Here are my top 3 food suggestions for immune support:

1. All antioxidants – vitamins A, C, E, Selenium and Zinc:

What are antioxidants? Your body has a well-oiled health maintenance system. It’s all about balance. Your body, as a function of a regular metabolic process will produce molecules called free radicals. Free radicals are produced in the body as by-products of normal metabolism and as a result of exposure to radiation and some environmental pollutants. Because they are highly reactive, when out of balance, they can cause damage at the cellular level. Weakened or damaged cells are implicated in a variety of diseases. Free radicals are normally neutralized by efficient systems in the body that include the antioxidant enzymes. In healthy individuals, a delicate balance exists between free radicals and antioxidants. That is why it is so important to ensure that your daily diet contains good sources of antioxidants. Think of antioxidants and free radicals as the yin and yang of your body’s health maintenance system. The Angel and the Devil if you will.

So, what foods should you eat?

  • Everyone thinks of vitamin C as a strong immune booster. Oranges come to mind when we think of vitamin C. Vitamin C is also found in: peppers, parsley, strawberries, broccoli, lemons, kale, tomatoes, squash, celery, and grapefruit.
  • Vitamin A is also found in many of these foods, and also in sweet potatoes and carrots.
  • Vitamin E is in olive oil, spinach, and sunflower seeds to name a few.
  • Selenium is in Brazil nuts and pumpkin seeds, and certain mushrooms. You can get your entire day’s requirement of selenium by eating just two Brazil nuts.
  • Zinc can be found in beef and spinach.

So, let fall be a reminder to eat vibrant colors – eat the rainbow, and your diet will be rich in antioxidants. The trick is to try and get 4-5 servings every day.


By Bonnie Wisener| November 09, 2015
Categories:  Eat

About the Author

Bonnie Wisener

Bonnie Wisener

Bonnie Wisener is a Registered Holistic Nutritionist and is passionate about the role that food plays in our lives. In her practice, she enjoys working with clients to discover the best way that they can nourish themselves to maintain or foster optimal wellness. Bonnie can be found at www.bonniewisener.com and on Facebook at Shift Nutrition and Wellness. Please contact Bonnie for a free 15 minute “discovery” session.


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