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10 Foods for Immune Health

10 Foods for Immune Health

Flu season in the U.S. tends to peak between December and February, so now is the perfect time to start including more immune-boosting foods in your diet. Vitamins–especially beta carotene and vitamins C, D, and E–help your body resist illness. Folate, manganese, riboflavin, iron and zinc can also help your body fight off the winter ick.

Already sick? Try these natural remedies to help your cold symptoms or these natural flu remedies!

Of course, no diet is going to make you 100 percent cold–and flu-proof, but eating these foods for immune health may help you avoid sickness. If you do get sick, arming your body with the nutrients it needs can help you get better faster.

10 Foods for Immune Health

Foods for Immune Health: Pumpkin

1. Pumpkin – Pumpkin and other yellow or orange winter squash provide a good mix of vitamin A along with soluble fiber, folate, manganese, and riboflavin to help boost your immune system. Read more about pumpkin and immune health here!

Foods for Immune Health: Spinach

2. SpinachA cup of cooked spinach provides 5 percent of your daily zinc requirements. It also has 377 percent of your vitamin A, 29 percent of your vitamin C, and 19 percent of your vitamin E. Spinach is very high in iron, but it also contains a compound that makes it hard for your body to absorb. Look to other foods for your immune-boosting iron.

Foods for Immune Health: Pumpkin Seeds

3. Pumpkin Seeds – When you cook up that immune-boosting pumpkin, roast the seeds for extra cold and flu-fighting power. An ounce of roasted pumpkin or winter squash seeds has 19 percent of your zinc requirements.

Foods for Immune Health: Blueberries

4. Berries – Blueberries are a superfood rich in vitamin C and other antioxidants that help protect your body from illness.

Foods for Immune Health: Mushrooms

5. Mushrooms – Button mushrooms may look unassuming, but they’re actually a very good source of flu-fighting vitamin D, riboflavin and manganese.

Foods for Immune Health: Beans

6. BeansA cup of cooked black beans provides 13 percent of your daily zinc. Black beans – and other beans – are also a good source of manganese, folate, iron, and soluble fiber.

Foods for Immune Health: Molasses

7. Blackstrap Molasses – Molasses is rich in immune-boosting iron. Maybe that’s why molassesy gingerbread is such a popular fall and winter flavor!

Foods for Immune Health: Broccoli

8. Broccoli – Cruciferous vegetables like broccoli are good sources of vitamins A, C, and E. They’re also a good source of folate, manganese, and iron. Broccoli in particular, though has been shown to contain a compound called DIM that supports immune health.

Foods for Immune Health: Tea

9. Tea – You know that a steamy cup of tea helps soothe some of your cold and flu symptoms, but did you know that a cuppa could also help prevent illness? A 2003 study found that tea contains compounds that help your body fight germs and viruses.

Foods for Immune Health: Kombucha

10. Kombucha – Kombucha contain probiotics which help support your body’s immune system. If kombucha isn’t your speed, try adding other fermented foods like kimchi, sauerkraut, or miso to your diet this fall and winter.  Leesa’s favorite is GT Dave’s Raw Organic Mutli-Green Kombucha!

Leesa also recommends always choosing organic!

Becky Striepe

Becky Striepe is a freelance writer and vegan crafter living in Atlanta, Georgia. Her life’s mission is to make green crafting and vegan food accessible to everyone! Like this article? You can follow Becky on Twitter or find her on Facebook!


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  • Wanting Work Life Balance.
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Are any of these an issue or problem for you?  Would it make sense for us to spend several minutes together to discuss your needs and how HealthyHighway can meet them? As a Healthy Lifestyle Coach with an emphasis on allergies and wellness, Leesa teaches her clients to make informed choices and enables them to make needed changes for a Happy Healthy Lifestyle. What you eat, what products you use ~ on your body and in your home and office, how you talk to yourself ~ it all matters!

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Leesa A. Wheeler

Leesa A. Wheeler

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5 Natural Cold and Flu Remedies

5 Natural Cold and Flu Remedies
It has been an extra sickly flu season for a lot of the folks in my life, and  I bet that a lot of you are battling the wintertime ick, as well. With more cold  weather on the way in a lot of the northern hemisphere, it felt like a good time  to round up a few of the cold and flu remedies that seem to actually make a  difference. While there’s no way to totally cure a cold or the flu once it’s taken hold, these remedies  can definitely help reduce your sickness’ severity and duration.


1. Oil of  Oregano

I wish I could remember who hipped me to oil of oregano, but this stuff has  been great for me this flu season. Oil of oregano is rich in vitamins and  minerals and is said to reduce pain and inflammation.

The second you start feeling run down, you’ll want to pop oil of oregano  pills twice a day between meals. I normally get a couple of bad illnesses during  the winter, and this time around I managed to kick the sick in just a few days,  rather than battling symptoms for a week.

Image Credit: Creative Commons photo by frostnova

hold the sun

2. Vitamin D

I’ve talked about vitamin D’s flu-fighting abilities before, and it bears  mentioning again. You can get your vitamin D through dietary sources, supplements, or good old sunshine. The only trick with vitamin D is that you  want to be careful not to take too much. Since this is a fat soluble vitamin,  your body doesn’t eliminate it as efficiently as water soluble vitamins.

Image Credit: Creative Commons photo by danibelle2906


3. Zinc

According to a recent article in the New York Times, zinc is a powerful natural cold and flu remedy. The trick is finding a  reliable lozenge. Many of the ones in the drug store have additives that either  make the zinc less effective or lower the zinc content too much. Stick to a  brand you trust and do some careful label reading to find a zinc supplement  without too many extra ingredients and a higher percentage of zinc.

Image Credit: Creative Commons photo by ethorson

man using a neti pot

4. Neti Pot

I can’t say enough good things about the neti pot! While it’s a little bit  tricky to use at first, once you get the hang of it, you’ll never want to be  without yours. If you’re feeling congestion coming on, I’d suggest flushing with  the neti pot a couple of times a day. Even if you still get sick, you’ll spend  fewer days mouth breathing and nursing a dry, painful nose.

New to the neti pot? Here are some tips for getting started with a neti pot.

Image Credit: Creative Commons photo by Buffawhat

Rest is key to fighting cold and flu

5. Rest

When all is said and done, rest is one of the best things you can do for your  body when you’re under the weather. Your immune system needs time to do its  thing, and resting gives your body a chance to heal. It’s sometimes hard to take  a day off from work to nurse yourself back to health, but a day or two of rest  now can help cut down the duration of your illness and save you many days of  discomfort.

Image Credit: Creative Commons photo by planetchopstick

By Becky Striepe

Becky Striepe

Becky Striepe is a freelance writer and vegan crafter living in Atlanta,  Georgia. Her life’s mission is to make green crafting and vegan food accessible  to everyone! Like this article? You can follow  Becky on Twitter or find her on  Facebook!

Image Credit: Creative Commons photo by Anna Gutermuth

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