Back To School Food Ideas for Avoiding the Flu
Back to school season is around the corner, which for many of us means an increased exposure to colds and flu. Viruses can spread very easily, so it’s important to boost your immune system to guard against these common diseases. The first signs of a virus sends many people reaching for the nearest over-the-counter medications that merely treat the symptoms without ever addressing the cause of the illness.
A healthier option to potentially harmful medications can be found in a number of immune-boosting foods that will help you avoiding the flu and stay healthy through the fall and winter months.
It appears that your grandmother was right all along. Chicken soup still holds true today as an effective cold remedy. It provides much needed fluids, as well as reduces inflammation, which can lead to colds.
It also helps reduce congestion by speeding up the movement of mucus, thus giving viruses less time to be in contact with the nose lining. A combination of chicken and vegetables such as onions, parsley, and turnips will help alleviate cold symptoms, and taste great.
Foods rich in vitamin C
A number of studies have shown that diets high in vitamin C decrease the possibility of catching a cold in half. In addition to fewer colds, significant amounts of vitamin C can help speed up recovery time. Foods high in vitamin C include citrus fruits, bell peppers, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cantaloupe, strawberries, and tomatoes.
Sesquiterpenes–chemicals found in ginger–have been proven to fight against cold viruses. Additionally, ginger contains a mild sedative that will help reduce pain, fever, and coughing. Adding some ginger to hot water will make a soothing tea that can provide you with some much needed rest and get you back on your feet in no time.
In addition to soothing throat irritation caused by colds, honey is loaded with powerful antioxidant and antimicrobial properties that help combat viruses and bacteria. Although honey is considered harmless for adults, feeding honey to children under 1 year old is strongly discouraged as it may lead to botulism.
Researchers have found that a lack of selenium–a mineral that has been shown to boost immune functioning- in the diet may increase the severity flu symptoms. Therefore, it is important to choose foods that have a high amount of this important trace mineral. Foods rich in selenium include Brazil nuts, broccoli, cabbage, cucumbers, garlic, fish, mushrooms, onions, and red grapes.
When it comes to fighting off colds and avoiding the flu, make good nutrition a part of your daily plan. It will keep you healthy and happy during this back to school season.