Sunny LaValle: Eat to Beat the Flu
2. Vitamin C
mhaller1979 Flickr Eat your veggies.
"Eat lots of bright colored fruits and vegetables high in vitamin C along with vitamins E and A and various flavonoids - they work together to help keep the immune system strong. Studies show that taking large doses of vitamin C supplements don't help as much as the actual food. Aim for at least five servings of bright colored fruits and veggies a day. Don't be afraid to use frozen fruits and veggies as an easy and more economical and convenient way to add them to your diet."
3. Potent Antioxidants
"Onions, garlic, shallots, mushrooms and turmeric are all antioxidant powerhouses. They contain numerous anti-inflammatory compounds such as quercitin, allicin, and anthocyanins that help fight infection and bacteria. They're easy to toss in soups or chop up into salads and stews. Studies have shown that consuming various types of mushrooms regularly stimulate the immune system, increase production of white blood cells and help fight infection. Eat cooked or lightly steamed or sautéed for the greatest benefit."
"80% of your immunity comes from your gut so its important to keep the good intestinal bacteria flourishing. This friendly bacteria help keep down the not-so-good bacteria or pathogens in the GI tract and help reduce inflammation. Good food sources include kimchee, Greek yogurt, fermented milk, kefir or a great supplement I love is GoLive (find it at Whole Foods). It can be added to water or juice, and aim for eight ounces daily for best results."
5. Adequate Fluids
"Keeping hydrated is so important for good health and for helping to keep the immune system working properly. Aim for 10-12 glasses of water a day and add slices of fresh citrus fruit for added vitamins. One of my big recommendations to my clients is to start the morning with a hot cup of water with fresh squeezed lemon and grated ginger to provide a mega dose of antioxidants, vitamin C and other immune enhancing compounds."
LaValle reminds us that while there's no magic to prevent us from getting sick this season, eating the above foods will certainly help boost your disease-fighting power. She also offers the following immunity-boosting recipe:
Berry Chia Smoothie:
- 2 cups unsweetened vanilla almond milk
- 1-cup organic spinach leaves
- 1-cup organic mixed berries
- ½-frozen banana
- 1-ounce coconut kefir
- ½ cup chia seeds
Blend all ingredients in high-speed blender.
So drink up and stay healthy, Miamians. We don't want to catch your flu cooties.
Follow Hannah on Twitter @hannahalexs.