9 Flu Fighting Superfoods and 50 Recipes To Help You Not Get Sick This Winter

Jan 3 12:37 2009 Hillary Marshak Print This Article

Be prepared to fight off sickness this winter by consuming these 9 immunity boosting foods!

When a family member,Guest Posting coworker, or classmate gets sick, you probably do everything you can to avoid them so you don't get sick too. 'Washing your hands and staying away from all germs as much as possible' is great advice, but you should also consider eating certain foods that are made for boosting your immune system and therefore fending off the flu.

Antioxidants do just that. Be it vitamins A, C, or E, foods that are rich in these immune system boosters will help you gear up to fight a cold before you even get one. The following foods are all rich in antioxidants or infection-fighting compounds that will help maintain a healthier you this winter.

1. Yogurt - The probiotics contained in yogurt help keep germs from invading our system by lining our intestines with its good bacteria. Yogurt also contains many vital nutrients such as protein, calcium, riboflavin, and vitamins B6 and B12. Incorporate yogurt into your regular diet with some of the recipes below or simply enjoy a carton of yogurt for breakfast or a healthy afternoon snack. If you need yogurt mix-in ideas, consult this list of Things to Do with Fage Yogurt.

Fat Free Strawberry Yogurt SmoothieYogurt Carrot SoupDilled Yogurt DressingCucumber Yogurt SaladKey Lime Yogurt Bars

2. Red Bell Pepper - We've always been told that vitamin C is the key to strengthening our immune systems, but did you know that red bell peppers have more vitamin C than oranges? Red peppers are also rich in vitamin A, a less-known antioxidant that will help keep the flu away! So slice up some red pepper to go along with your salad or just dip a few strips in hummus for a light and tasty snack! Or, you can always make these recipes too:

Slow Cooker Rosemary and Red Pepper ChickenRoasted Red Pepper SpreadPeppers and Orange Spinach SaladYummy Red Pepper SauceRed Pepper Roasted Lamb Chops

3. Nuts - Particularly almonds and Brazil nuts, nuts contain vitamins that help strengthen the immune system. Almonds contain the antioxidant vitamin E while Brazil nuts contain Selenium which can protect us against not only colds and flus, but even cancer. Nuts have been found to have many cardiac benefits and can also lower cholesterol. Snack on almonds or Brazil nuts when you are hungry, add them to salads or incorporate them into dinner with the following recipes:

Barley Salad with Almonds and ApricotsFlavored NutsDelectable Almond MuffinsRoasted NutsAsparagus with Hazelnuts

4. Chicken Soup - I used to think chicken soup was just something we craved when we were sick until I found out it can actually heal and prevent sickness too. Chicken soup, especially when made with lots of nutrient rich vegetables, contains anti-inflammatory properties that inhibit mucus production. Not only will it make you feel better when you already have a cold, but if your symptoms haven't occurred yet, they will be lessened by chicken soup. Try one of these recipes for your next flu fighting venture:

Healthy and Hearty Chicken SoupSpicy Chicken Soup with Baby Corn and Bell PeppersLots of Chicken SoupHomestyle Chicken Noodle SoupChicken N Dumpling Soup

5. Green Tea - The popular tea contains an immune boosting chemical called EGCG (epigallocatechin gallate) that not only staves away illness but can help you recover faster while you have an illness. Brew up a batch of plain green tea or add some extra ingredients for more flavor.

Stomach SootherHot Green Tea with VodkaSpicy Green TeaAutumn TeaHot Spiced Tea

In addition to green tea, it helps the immune system to drink hot liquids in general. Try these cold weather beverage recipes for even more flu fighting power.

Flu BusterCold Weather Cayenne DrinkCold Tamer TeaEasy Vitamin SoupSoothing Winter Tea

6. Sweet Potatoes - The beta carotene in sweet potatoes converts itself to vitamin A, an antioxidant that helps strengthen your immune system. Sweet potatoes are actually rich in all sorts of vitamins and flavor so there's really no reason not to eat them. Bake them plain or use them in the following immune system boosting recipes:

Sweet Potato MuffinsSweet Potato Orange CasseroleTzimmesSweet Potato Curry with Spinach and ChickpeasAfrican Sweet Potato Stew

7. Garlic - Consuming garlic helps fend off viruses because it is full of antioxidant vitamins and minerals like manganese, vitamin B6, selenium and vitamin C. Consider chopping fresh garlic for the best results in these tasty recipes:

Low-Carb Garlic ChickenHickory Smoked Roasted GarlicSauteed Spinach with GarlicPasta with Broccoli and GarlicGarlic Cauliflower

8. Ginger - The natural plant compound gingerol found in ginger helps to fight off infections. Ginger is also very good for digestion and alleviating stomach pain. Consider topping your sushi with ginger when available or incorporating fresh ginger into your regular diet with these recipes:  

Gingered Chicken with VegetablesGinger Cucumber Salad with ScallopsChilled Carrot Bisque with Ginger and Mixed HerbsGinger Cinnamon TeaGinger Vinaigrette

9. Oysters - If you've used Cold Eeze or other zinc supplements to fend off colds and flu, you'll love this tastier zinc-rich recommendation. Oysters contain more zinc than any other food, and therefore are very good for our immune systems. 3 oysters is said to meet our daily zinc consumption recommendations. Oysters might not be everyday fare but when you get the chance, try one of these oyster recipes:

Oysters with Tangerine SalsaScalloped OystersOysters ChesapeakeGrilled Oysters with Fennel ButterOysters with Chardonnay

Keep it Raw

While many of the recipes we recommended above involve cooking with these ingredients, we highly recommend eating these foods raw to reap the most health benefits. Cooking can sometimes deplete the nutritional content of the ingredient. Consider adding these ingredients toward the end of cooking so that they are still incorporated into the dish. Of course, tasty recipes still help us to incorporate healthy ingredients we otherwise may not have thought to eat into our diets so if you prefer these foods cooked, please don't hesitate to do so. This is simply a suggestion for best results.

More Like This:Fight the Fever: Staying Healthy This WinterNew Superfruit in Town: Acai10 Super Foods That Kick Your Metabolism and Energy into High Gear

Source:MyLifetime.com Best Bites: 10 Flu Fighting Foods

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Hillary Marshak
Hillary Marshak

Hillary Marshak is a writer and editor for Recipe4Living.com, a popular recipe sharing Website. For more articles like this, or for a large collection of recipes, visit the site at http://www.Recipe4Living.com.

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