Colds, viruses, sore throats become more prevalent during the winter months. These can be avoided through simple prevention with the aid of proper nutrition.Immune boosting nutrition includes all those foods that ensure proper functioning of the body’s immune system. Regarding seasonal viral foods which enhance the immune system, here are a few options:Foods rich in amino acid arginine and omega-3 fatty acids: The arginine contained in nuts and meat, while the omega-3 fish-especially fatty-like herring, mackerel, sardines and tuna. The consumption of tuna needs to be done with some moderation, though, because the mercury it contains can cause problems, especially in pregnant women and young children.
Crucial for the proper functioning of the immune system is also zinc, which is a key component of many enzymes. Zinc can be found in meats, and other milk derivatives. Also rich in zinc are fish, octopus and shellfish.Extremely valuable for the immune system is also glutamine. Look for it mostly in milk and cheese, regardless of type. However, it should be noted that glutamine is a component of gluten, which many people (mostly children) may not tolerate it. So use caution and look for it on dairy product labels before using such products, if you have gluten tolerance issues.Another important group of immune boosting nutrients is antioxidants. Resveratrol is an excellent antioxidant. This herb-derived molecule can be found in the skin of grapes, in pine cones, in berries, in nuts and of course in red wines. Resveratrol has been found by studies to have valuable anti-inflammatory and anticancer properties, as well as cardiovascular disease-protective properties.Antioxidant and antimicrobial properties can also be attributed to garlic, which is probably one of the most effective immune booster, despite its bad odor. Of course there are several ways to minimize the odor by using dried garlic (instead of raw/fresh one) for example, though dried garlic is not as effective as raw/fresh garlic. A little parsley after garlic consumption may also help mask the odor.
The king and most famous of immune boosters against virus infections is none other than vitamin C. This super immune booster can be found in oranges, lemons, and mandarins. Kiwi fruit, green leafy vegetables and parsley are also very rich in vitamin C.Finally, our immune boosting nutritional arsenal would not be complete without honey. Honey contains natural antiseptics which help control the growth of bacteria that can cause primary and secondary infections. There are no better or worse honey types/kinds in terms of boosting immunity. You should choose one that suits your own taste and you should incorporate it at the very least in you breakfast and lunch.