Preventing the Flu Using Functional Foods
1. Eat Foods High in Vitamin C
Vitamin C is crucial because its helps prevent infection and keeps your immune system strong. Foods with high levels of vitamin C include bell peppers, broccoli, oranges and grapefruits. You may even consider supplementing with a high quality vitamin c during the winter months.
2. Eat Foods that are Fermented or High in Probiotics
70-80% of our immune system is in our gut. Our intestinal tracts are filled with bacteria and there must be a balance of good and bad bacteria in order for it to work right. Too much bad bacteria and not enough good, and you are putting your immune system at higher risk of being attacked by cold and flu viruses.
Fermented foods are high in that good bacteria called probiotics. Keeping your gut filled with this good bacteria not only helps to fend of those nasty viruses, but it aid in the absorption of all the good vitamins and minerals you are eating. You can get fermented foods into your diet by included things like kefir, a fermented dairy product similar to drinkable yogurt, sauerkraut, and brine cured pickles and spicy fermented veggies like kimchi.
If you can’t get probiotics into your diet through foods, there are some amazing supplement forms you could pick up at any health food store. If you’ve never bought them before, ask someone to help you choose. Probiotic bacteria thrive on pre-biotic polysaccharide fibers. Our MetaPowder is a powerful pre-biotic and it helps to keep all that good bacteria doing its job.
3. Stock your Cupboard with Black Elderberry Extract
Elderberry extract is a staple in our home and helps to stop colds dead in their tracks. It is amazingly high in antioxidants, flavonoids and anti-viral properties. It does a great deal to fight of free radicals and to top it off; its crazy high in vitamin C, which is crucial for preventing the flu.
Our favorite form is the syrup, because it tastes the best. It is great as syrup on your pancakes). It can be pricy if you are using a lot of syrup; buying the straight, alcohol based extract and mixing it with water is more economical. It works just as effectively as they syrup, although the flavor is a lot less appealing.
4. True Bone Broth
Older generations tend to have the best natural cures for ailments your doc would simply write you a prescription for. At Chosen Foods, we know all about this and part of our mission is plain and simple: introduce people to these functional foods that improve their health the natural way.
Bone broth falls into the functional foods category, and people have been using it to promote good health for hundreds of years. Broth made from organic, high quality bones, is high in minerals such as magnesium, phosphorus, sulfur and others that are difficult to find elsewhere.
The broken down material from the joints and tendons is high in glucosamine, which is sold as a very expensive joint health supplement – not necessarily important for flu prevention, but a nice healthy bonus.
Also, when a good bone broth cools, you’ll notice its natural gelatinous property. The benefits of gelatin have been studied for years and it is an amazing tool for intestinal health, helping to protect the lining of the gut, as well as attracting extra juices to food while its there – which aids in digestion.
Bone broth’s effect on digestion plus its loads of minerals is what make this a staple tool for avoiding the flu. Remember: A healthy gut equals a healthy person.
5. Chia Seeds
Nutrient dense foods are what keep our immune systems in prime condition and ready to prevent the flu. Chia seeds are a nutritional powerhouse, and help to do just that.
They contain more antioxidants than blueberries, are higher in omega-3s than two servings of salmon, loaded with fiber, iron, calcium, are a complete protein with all 9 essential amino acids. Chia beats flax seeds in every category across the board, and if you’re looking for a relatively inexpensive, effective tool to increasing the whole food nutrients in your diet – chia is the best choice.
You can sprinkle it on salads, add it to your oatmeal, or make chia gel and add it to spaghetti or soup. We sell our certified organic chia in conveniently packaged chia seed stick packs so you can take them to work, the gym or even out to dinner.