The foods to eat to remain healthy during this extremely bad flu season

According to The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention,  2,400 people died of the flu (six of which were children), between October 1st and November 30th of this year. More than one million Americans have sought treatment for the infection during this time period and nearly 30,000 were hospitalized.

The uniquely high volume of these cases is also attended by a particularly early season. A collective 1.7 million – 2.5 million have contracted the illness in just one month.  The CDC reports that the infection is particularly concentrated in densely populated areas, namely Alabama, California, Connecticut, Georgia, Indiana, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Mississippi, Nevada, New Mexico, New York, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and Virginia. As previously reported on by Ladders,  the average office desk houses over 10 million infectious bacterial organisms and these spread very quickly.

“Bacteria and viruses survive really well on surfaces,” environmental microbiologist, Kelly Reynolds PhD, explained. “Soap and water aren’t enough to kill them; you need to use a product with a disinfectant.”

Generally speaking, the flu and cold season doesn’t peak until mid-December, for about 12 to 16 weeks. Disinfecting your  environment and frequent sanitation is a good immediate preemptive measure, but a well-balanced diet is the best way to remain insured all year round. Eating food sources rich with Vitamins A, C, and E,  protects our cells from the carnage of free radicals. Consuming probiotics rapidly boots our immune system as well as reducing recovery time for the cold and flu, and a diet that incorporates the appropriate amounts of proteins and amino acids dramatically enhances our t-cells. T-cells are important for the regulation of immune responses.

Eggs are a great source for both protein and amino acids. It’s also easy to implement other protective nutrients into egg-based meals. Tomatos for instance, which pair quite well with scrambled eggs, is packed with vitamin C. Similarly, the popular morning beverage, Kefir is not only loaded with probiotics, the fermented drink additionally contains beneficial digestive properties that help us absorb immune-system friendly macronutrients.

Sources of Vitamin A

-Eggs, fortified breakfast cereals broccoli, spinach, and the darkest green, leafy vegetables.

Sources for Vitamin C

-Kiwi fruit, orange juice, yellow pepper, sweet potato, strawberries, and tomatoes

Sources for Vitamin E

-Nuts, like almonds, peanuts and hazelnuts, and vegetable oils, sunflower, wheat germ, safflower, corn and soybean oils

If you’ve already come down with the cold or flu, the foods above will certainly speed along the recovery process, especially if you accompany them with broths.  It takes considerably less effort to break hot food down,  which in turn means that our bodies can absorb the nutrients out of them easily.

“A good diet is essential,” explained Jennifer Tanner, a naturopathic doctor with Kinetica Health Group in Toronto, to Best Health magazine. “When you eat poorly, you have less food for the warriors – those immune cells – to go out and fight. Under-nutrition is one of the biggest causes of immune deficiency. A diet chronically lacking in macronutrients, such as protein and healthy fat, can significantly impair the ability of the immune system to fight infections.”