Flu season is here and we’re all looking for ways to stay well and out of the doctor’s office. Getting the flu shot, washing your hands often, getting adequate rest, and avoiding others who appear ill are all important strategies to help you stay well. But don’t forget about nutrition! What you eat can impact your immune system, too like foods to fight the cold and flu.
Stay well this winter by stocking your pantry and fridge with these 5 immune-boosting foods.
Foods to Fight the Cold and Flu
- Milk provides key nutrients like vitamin A, vitamin D, zinc, selenium, and protein that support a healthy immune system. Pour yourself a glass of milk or add it to your favorite coffee or tea.
- Oats contain fiber that helps boost infection-fighting blood cells. Begin your day with a bowl of oatmeal made with milk for a creamier taste and extra immunity boost. These Banana Bread Overnight Oats are perfect for busy weekday mornings.
- Seafood is a great way to add more variety and immune-enhancing nutrients to your menu. Shrimp are an excellent source of selenium while fish provide omega-3 fatty acids, both of which help enhance immune function. For a family-friendly, easy weeknight meal, serve up this Sheet Pan Mediterranean Shrimp using fish for your protein on taco night.
- Garlic can help boost the number of virus-fighting cells in your bloodstream. It can also add great flavor to recipes like this creamy Roasted Garlic and White Bean Dip.
- Bell Peppers are rich in antioxidants that enhance immune function and decrease inflammation. Pair sliced bell peppers with a cool Greek yogurt dip or blend them together for the ultimate app.
For more ways to add wellness to your winter menu, visit The Dairy Alliance recipe page.
Donna Speed, MS, RDN