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Superfoods That Help Fight Cold and Flu

Superfoods That Help Fight Cold and Flu

Superfoods That Help Fight Cold and Flu

Flu season is once again upon us, and if you serve as a caretaker for an elderly loved one, you know how stressful this time of the year can be. Being sick drains our energy, keeps us from doing the things we love, and makes our bodies feel awful inside and out. Fortunately, food is a powerful tool at our disposal that can help fight off pesky illnesses like the cold and flu effectively.

Here are the top ten superfoods to consume when you or your elderly loved one is feeling a little under the weather:

  1. Berries

Berries are one of the best foods to incorporate into your diet for longevity and warding off illness. In addition to being rich in antioxidants, berries also contain an abundance of vitamin C that helps the body produce white blood cells to fight off disease. Berries can easily be added to yogurt, desserts, or enjoyed as a standalone snack.

  1. Nuts and seeds

Chock full of essential vitamin E, nuts and seeds provide great support to the immune system by encouraging T-cell production. This particular food group also contains ample omega-6 fatty acids and alpha-linolenic acid which helps immune function.

  1. Leafy greens

Leafy greens such as kale, spinach, and arugula are among the most nutrient dense foods available, filled with protein, fiber, and essential vitamins and minerals. As a result of their impressive nutritional profile, leafy greens boast a handful of benefits for our health: supporting healthy aging, strengthening the immune system, lowering inflammation, balancing blood sugars, and more.

  1. Green tea

Green tea has long been recognized as one of the best beverages for our health, and for good reason. In addition to fighting off cold and flu, green tea also helps improve brain function, fat loss, and lowers the risk of heart disease and cancer.

  1. Extra virgin olive oil

Olive oil is packed with healthy fats and anti-inflammatory properties. It also has been shown to support the immune system, making it a great choice to add to your dishes to reduce the risk of catching the cold or flu.

  1. Yogurt

Yogurt contains lots of probiotics, or “good bacteria,” that support and reinforce the immune system. Studies have found yogurt to be able to reduce the length of a cold or flu in mice, suggesting potentially similar results in humans. Plain yogurt containing no added sugar provides the most health benefits with the fewest drawbacks.

  1. Oats

Beta-glucan, a fiber that boosts the immune system and fights high cholesterol, is abundant in oats. But aside from these great benefits, oats also are great for warding off unwanted seasonal illnesses. Whole rolled or steel-cut oats can be incorporated into the diet in the form of oatmeal, granola, and whole wheat bread.

  1. Ginger

Ginger is a powerful flowering plant that not only adds great flavor to food, but also provides great benefits to the body when it comes to treating the cold and flu. Ginger stimulates circulation, helping the lungs and sinuses keep clear of stagnant mucus that causes congestion. To add ginger to the diet, try boiling it in tea or using it as a seasoning on meat, fish, curries, and stir-fry dishes.

  1. Garlic

Garlic is notorious for causing bad breath, but it also boasts a nutritional profile worth boasting about. This bulbous vegetable is loaded with an immune-supporting compound known as allium, giving it great potential in warding off disease. Garlic can easily be incorporated in dishes such as pasta, fish, meats, soups, and stews.

  1. Salmon

Fish lovers–you’re in luck. Not only is salmon one of the best dietary sources of omega-3 fatty acids, one 6-ounce filet also contains nearly 600 IU of immune system-regulating vitamin D–or ¾ of the daily recommended amount suggested for individuals over 70.

  1. Broth

The benefits of drinking broth when sick are multi-fold. To start, broth is served as a liquid, giving it hydrating capabilities critical for overcoming illness. In addition to this, warm broth can also help clear nasal congestion and calm a sore throat.

Overcoming the cold and flu can be achieved by incorporating enough of the right foods into your loved one’s daily routine. From leafy greens to fresh berries, you’ll want to look for foods that are nutrient-dense and packed with the tools our bodies need to repair themselves from illness. All of the above-mentioned foods can be incorporated into a variety of tasty dishes including salads, soups, and overnight oats.

Home care Provider Lake County Illinois

If cooking isn’t your forte, a senior home care provider can assist with meal preparation when your loved one is sick to put them back on the road to recovery faster. Contact Assisting Hands Home Care at (224) 268-9068 for compassionate non-medical home care in Buffalo GroveDeerfield, IL |  GrayslakeGreen Oaks, ILHawthorn Woods, IL  Lake Zurich, IL | Lake Forest, IL | Lincolnshire, IL | Vernon Hills, IL | Highland Park, IL | Libertyville, IL | Mundelein, IL Round Lake Beach, IL. Our team of professional caregivers is available for a variety of services including housekeeping, meal prep, transportation, and assistance with errands.