Food Myths Nutrition

3 Foods That Help Fight Cold and Flu

foods that help fight cold and flu

What a flu season this has been!

If you’ve fallen victim to the flu-shot-resistant flu or one of the brutal colds going around, you know exactly what I mean. Nearly everyone I know, including my own poor kiddos who were just sick for over a week, has experienced an icky wintertime virus in some form or another.

If you’ve been lucky enough to stay virus-free so far, well, you’ll want to keep reading this post.

foods that help prevent cold and flu

People frequently ask me what they can eat to stay healthy during winter. Unfortunately, there’s no food or supplement that guarantees prevention from the cold and flu. However, there are some foods, as well as healthy habits, that help boost your body’s defenses and thus decrease the likelihood that you’ll get sick when exposed to a virus. Or if you do get sick, certain foods and drinks may reduce the severity of your symptoms or decrease the length of time that you suffer. At the very least these healthy foods can’t hurt, so why not give them a try!

Below are three of the foods I rely on during cold and flu season.

3 Foods That Fight Cold and Flu

foods that fight colds

1. Klio Greek Mountain Tea.

You guys. I could not recommend this tea more highly. I drank 3-4 cups of Klio during the 10 days my kids were coughing and sneezing on me, and managed to stay healthy despite being exhausted and rundown. What I love about Klio is it:

  • Is incredibly high in antioxidants and polyphenols, which can help boost immunity
  • Has a softer, sweeter flavor than green tea
  • Unlike other antioxidant-rich teas, is naturally caffeine-free so you can drink it any time of day (and serve it to kids)
  • Is a single varietal, whole leaf, pure and unprocessed (you can tell because it looks like dried sticks and flowers!)
  • Has also been shown to reduce inflammation, improve digestion and enhance memory.

foods to eat when you have the flu

You brew Klio a little differently than most teas – by boiling a little handful of the flowers and stems in a pot and then steeping for 3-5 more minutes. But it’s easy, and I’m now in the habit of just brewing some every morning for sipping throughout the day, hot or cold.

klio tea

foods that help prevent cold and flu

It’s definitely worth keeping some Klio on hand for the remainder of cold & flu season. At the very least you’ll feel like you’ve been transported to the gorgeous mountains of Greece every time you enjoy a cup. 🙂

2. Yogurt

foods that fight flu

What I want to know is, what can’t yogurt do? From digestion to inflammation to immune-boosting power, yogurt is quite the multi-tasker.

Though the research proving that yogurt (specifically the probiotics in yogurt) truly enhances immunity isn’t super robust, yogurt’s reputation as an overall health-booster has endured for thousands of years for good reason. And the probiotics in yogurt have been proven to support digestive health and promote good bacteria in the gut, which more and more is thought to be crucial to better overall health.

Not all yogurts are created equal, of course. For maximum benefit, I recommend buying plain yogurt (either Greek or regular) and mixing in fruit, honey or maple syrup if you like a sweeter taste. Even more important is to buy organic, so as to avoid antibiotics, artificial growth hormones, pesticides and GMOs (all of which are frequently used in the production of conventional dairy).

immunity boosting foods to fight cold and flu

3. Citrus fruits.

Though the jury is still out on whether vitamin C helps prevent or shorten the common cold, its still thought to be an important antioxidant that somehow supports better immune function. And studies have clearly shown that higher intakes of vitamin C can reduce the risk of developing more serious complications from cold viruses.

Citrus fruits aren’t the only way to get vitamin C, but they’re an easy and delicious source of the nutrient (one orange has about 70 mg) and happen to be at peak ripeness during these chilly winter months. So instead of popping vitamin supplements, which in my opinion are never as healthy as whole foods in their natural form, work some extra citrus fruits into your diet.

Oranges and satsumas make great snacks, lemons and limes are a great base for dressings, and grapefruit shines in simple salads like this one.

Stay healthy, my friends!

This post is brought to you by Klio Tea. As always, thoughts and opinions are my own. Thank you for reading and helping to support my blog and the brands that make it possible.

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7 Comments

  • Reply
    Allison
    January 23, 2015 at 6:41 am

    Totally just bought some of this tea. I have a horrible time with sinus infections (despite no allergies), so I need all the immune fortification I can get. And I happen to be a tea fanatic, so this works great!

  • Reply
    Judy
    January 23, 2015 at 7:53 am

    Is Klio available from retail stores? I have Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s, and several small organic markets in my city.

  • Reply
    Christina @ The Beautiful Balance
    January 23, 2015 at 8:28 am

    Satsumas are one of my favorites! That tea looks incredible. I am a huge huge tea advocate and I love that Klio tea is unprocessed and in its original form.

    • Reply
      Amelia Winslow
      January 23, 2015 at 8:51 am

      I have always made myself drink tea but have never really loved it until now! If you’re already a tea advocate you’re going to love this stuff, Christina 🙂

  • Reply
    Mattie @ Comfy & Confident
    January 25, 2015 at 6:25 pm

    This is so helpful! Everyone is sick at my office, I need all I can get to fight of colds and the flu.

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