Staying healthy during the cold and flu season is always a challenge. While there’s only so much we can do to avoid illness, we can do whatever is possible to boost our immune systems to ensure that if we do get sick, our bodies are ready to fight it off in no time. Here, we present a few healthy eating habits you can adopt to support your immune system.
Eat a Nutrient-Rich Diet
What does eating healthy really mean? It all starts with a nutrient-rich diet, which ensures you are getting all the vitamins and minerals your body needs. Typically, this involves increasing your fresh fruit and vegetable intake and avoiding processed foods. Other nutrient-rich foods include organic whole grains, lean meats and poultry, and nuts.
Minimize Alcohol Consumption
Alcohol can negatively affect your immune system, so cutting back on the number of drinks you have per week could be in your best interest. This may be challenging during the holidays, but the results should speak for themselves.
Avoid Added Sugar
Added sugars are not great for your body, period, but they are especially problematic when you’re trying to boost your immune system. If you do end up with a sweet food craving, opt for something natural instead of processed.
Eat Foods with Antioxidants
Some people take antioxidants in pill or supplement form, which is fine but not nearly as effective as eating foods rich in antioxidants. These foods include blueberries, strawberries, artichokes, raspberries, kale, and even dark chocolate (who wouldn’t want to jump on that one!).
Eat Omega-3 Rich Foods
Foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which include fish and other seafood, can be powerful immune-boosting aids. Other foods that contain substantial omega-3s are flax seeds, chia seeds, walnuts, and soybeans.
Build an Anti-Inflammatory Diet
Building an anti-inflammatory diet will help your immune system immensely. This involves avoiding (or reducing) saturated and trans fats. Other foods that may cause inflammation include red meat, white or refined bread, processed and fried foods, and sugar.
Keeping your immune system working efficiently and effectively is so important! Adopt these healthy-eating habits so that you are ready to take on anything this cold and flu season might bring.