Flu season is upon us and naturally, as we age, our immune system starts to decline. Getting the right amount of nutrients and water in your body is crucial when it comes to fighting off different bacterias and infections, including the flu.
AARP shares a list of 6 superfoods to add to your diet this fall and winter:
More than 8 different studies have found that catechins, an antioxidant found in green tea, can help your immune system fight off the flu. Plus, these little leaves have loads of other benefits! Click here to read more about these benefits.
Sweet potatoes helps our bodies produce vitamin A, which aids our vision, immune system and reproductive system. Vitamin A helps with the heart, lungs and other important organs to function properly.
Anna Taylor, a lead outpatient clinical dietitian at Cleveland Clinic’s Center for Human Nutrition, states that sweet potatoes “supports respiratory health by increasing the number of immune cells in the body.” As we get older our bodies make fewer immune cells, so adding these potatoes into your diet will build back the strength your immune system needs to combat getting sick. Taylor suggests roasting them with olive oil and some spices instead of adding butter and sugar. “You’ll get additional benefits from the spices, but you’re not loading up on sugar and saturated fat, both of which suppress your immune system.”
Berries are packed full of Vitamin C that stimulates our white blood cells which are important to our immune system. They also contain flavonoids, substances that act like antioxidants to your cells.
They contain high levels on zinc, a nutrient that is known to boost the production of white blood cells. Studies have shown that people who have a zinc deficiency tend to get sick more often. Taylor suggests having at least half a cup of beans at least 3 times per week.
Nuts and Seeds
Vitamin E can be found in nuts and seeds. Vitamin E supports the role of T-cells, which are part of the immune system found in bone marrow that help fight infections.
This food provides Vitamin D and is rich in omega-3 fatty acids. Both are important to keep your immune system strong and healthy.
Water / Fluids
Make sure to drink liquids! When you’re sick your body loses water and salt which can make you dehydrated. Continuing to drink water, electrolyte-rich drinks and broths will help you maintain what your body needs to continue to fight off the flu and keep you from becoming dehydrated. Drinking fluids is not only true for the flu, but for any sort of illness you may come down with.