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Five Foods to Eat During the Winter to Avoid Colds and Flu


Five Foods to Eat During the Winter to Avoid Colds and Flu

It can be difficult to stay healthy during the winter months when everyone around you is ill due to the cold and flu. Getting vaccinated against influenza each year is one of the best ways to protect your health. But prevention doesn't end there; you can strengthen your immune system by making certain dietary choices.

Wintertime foods to ward off colds and the flu

The top immune-boosting foods to include in your diet to ward off colds and the flu are shared by our health experts.

vegetable roots

Nutritionist Michele Gilson, RD, of Kaiser Permanente in Colorado, explains that vitamin C is a necessary nutrient for the colder months because it may help shorten the duration of colds and improve symptoms. Gilson agrees that oranges are a good source, but she also points out that root vegetables are a smart addition to soups and stews. Concentrate on carrots, parsnips, turnips, and beets, among many other vegetables.


You should include this squash in your diet in addition to Halloween and Thanksgiving pie. According to Brooklyn, New York-based registered dietitian and nutritionist Maya Feller, RD, pumpkin is a great source of fiber and beta-carotene, which can help you avoid mindless snacking on those long nights spent near your kitchen. It also contains a lot of vitamin A, which, according to a study published in Current Opinion and Immunology, can boost immunity and even aid in the fight against infections.


This time of year, your body longs for warmth, which is why Lynn Anderson, PhD in natural health and doctorate in naturopathy with a focus on aromatherapy, advises choosing foods that generate heat, such as yams and potatoes. They might improve your blood flow. According to a 2017 review that was published in the journal Nutrients, eating vegetables like potatoes may be a viable option for treating and preventing cardiovascular disease. Along with other biomarkers linked to the risk of cardiovascular disease, the researchers believe that their cardioprotective effects also include anti-inflammation, lowering blood pressure, and regulating blood sugar levels.


According to Gilson, oatmeal is a healthier option for a winter meal, so move those Cheerios aside. "It contains a significant amount of soluble fiber and zinc. She explains that fiber helps you feel fuller and warmer for longer periods of time, and zinc supports the immune system. Perhaps top your bowl with fresh or dried fruit instead of butter and brown sugar; it will be much healthier.

Butternut squash

As the snow continues to fall and the temperature drops, make the most of butternut squash. According to Stucklen, this vegetable will provide fiber, potassium, and vitamin A—nutrients your body is particularly in need of at this time of year. She says, "Incorporating butternut squash into your winter diet lowers your risk of heart disease, diabetes, and obesity."

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