The 5 Best Foods to Prevent Colds & Flu

food for flu and coldIt's here everybody, the dreaded cold and flu season. So as you stay indoors, breathing other people's air, touching doorknobs, elevator buttons, wiping noses, and generally getting all germy, you're going to want to work on your defense. Since your best defense is always a good offense, it's time to get proactive and eat your way to great health.

While there may not be any magic food that can kill every germ, here is a list of the best foods that can help your body fight off the cold and flu, before it attacks.

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1. Garlic

A natural antibiotic, garlic actually does kill germs. So if you can stomach it (and your friends and family can as well), add raw chopped garlic to your salads, roast it up for a spread, and generally overdo it to provide the most protection throughout the season. Onions act similarly, so when you can add both to a dish, go for it!

2. Vegetable Soup

Yes, you want to put some garlic in here, but also load it up with nutrient-dense vegetables like green beans and carrots. A hot and spicy soup also goes a long way in keeping your sinuses clear and your insides warm against the cold as well.

3. Chili

It's the beans you're after with this other warm dish. The spices will add an extra sinus boost, but the vitamin B you'll get from the kidney and pinto beans can really help your body defend itself. Go vegetarian if you always have a solid iron supply. But if you tend to be iffy in the iron department, add some chunks of beef to boost that immune fighting mineral.

4. Oranges/Citrus

Oranges pack a powerful dose of vitamin C, as do grapefruits, clementines, and other citrus fruits. Protect that immune system by eating the whole food instead of store-bought juice. You don't want the sugar of a processed juice bringing down all that goodness you're putting into your body. Make your own ginger lemonade to get some more sinus clearance with your vitamin C.

5. Roast Chicken

Glutamine is a crucial amino acid that helps fight off colds and flu before they have a chance to land. Roast up a chicken for a high dose, or sear some tuna. This is especially helpful if you're active and work out often, as you can lose glutamine after a few runs down the mountain.

 

Image via vmiramontes/Flickr

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