Skin Health Magazine Issue #10 / Winter 2019 - Page 21

Diet & Fitness Foods to Help You Survive Flu Season Y our skin isn’t the only thing that takes a hit in these winter months. We are deep into flu season now. In addition to getting the flu jab, washing your hands more, and wiping down every surface in your life, diet can play a powerful role in keeping the flu at bay. Get strategic with your veg. Veggies are colour- ful little miracle workers. The list is vast, so here are a few superheroes: Broccoli has sulpho- raphane to kick antioxidants into gear; mushrooms contain selenium to boost white blood cells; sweet potatoes and other orange foods have beta-carotene to strengthen the immune system; and spinach offers a solid dose of Vitamin C. Eggs. The humble egg is high in Vitamin D, which is excellent for regulating and boosting the effectiveness of immune systems — but eat the whole thing, not just the whites. Eggs are also protein-rich, and immune systems need protein to function properly. More garlic, please. This is not the time to be self-conscious about your breath. Studies have found that people consuming at least two garlic cloves a day are notably less susceptible to illness, thanks to an antimicrobial compound called phytochemical allicin. Also, garlic makes everything taste better. Have another cuppa. Tea drinkers rejoice! A Harvard University study credits the theanine in tea with quadrupling the immune defense systems of those who drink five cups of black tea a day, and tea also contains the antiviral and antibacterial flavonoid catechin. Five cups a bit much? Experts say up to three cups a day of black, green, or white tea should help stave off sickness. Dark chocolate. The British Journal of Nutrition found dark chocolate to boost the immune system. We’ll take any excuse, thank you very much. And if you consumed all of the above but got the flu anyway . . . Chicken Noodle Soup. A study by Dr Stephen Rennard found that the chicken noodle soup your mum made you might have an anti-inflam- matory effect, easing symptoms and shortening upper respiratory tract infections. Turns out it’s not just feeling loved that makes us feel better. ISSUE #10 | 2019 | 21