Currently, we find ourselves in the Flu season(COLD Season). Succumbing to the ailment the season poses is not what you'd want, especially if you have mapped out, plans for the week or month as the case may be.

In this article, I'll describe to you how to arm yourself for cold and flu season with ingredients found in your kitchen.

1. Get loaded up on BACTERIA.
It sounds counter-intuitive, but you have to load up on bacteria."Try some foods that contain probiotics, like  yogurt, for an immune system boost. Studies have shown eating yogurt rich in probiotics (aka the good bacteria) can raise white blood cell counts and therefore boost our immune systems. You'll want to choose yogurts that, while high in probiotics, are also "low in sugar". Greek yogurt is great for that, but if its standalone taste is not your thing, try using it as a topping for soup, mixing it with some peanut butter for a delicious dip, or adding some herbs and spices to it to make a dressing."

2. Colour up Your Diet.
"Try rainbow-hued veggies, like red peppers, sweet potatoes, and broccoli, and you'll give your system extra defense. Any combination of these colorful veggies will be helpful. Red peppers have twice the vitamin C of most vitamin C-rich fruits and vegetables, even oranges, and research shows that increasing vitamin C can reduce the length and severity of cold symptoms. Sweet potatoes can help strengthen immune cells, while the nutrients in broccoli have antioxidant properties that boost the immune system. If a chopped salad seems too boring, roast a rainbow of veggies in the oven with olive oil and some spices to enhance any meal."

3. Eat a good breakfast.
"Oatmeal is a great way to start the day this time of year, and not just on a chilly morning. The fiber keeps you feeling full, and oats are full of beta-glucan, a type of fiber that helps us fend off infection and bacteria. No time for a classic bowl of hot oatmeal? Before you go to bed, mix some oats, any kind of milk, and probiotic-rich yogurt. Wake up, pull it out of the fridge, and voilĂ ! You have a ready-to-go immune booster in a jar. Dress it up with some fruit, cinnamon, and seeds for an extra kick of deliciousness."

4. Embrace A Garlic Dish.
Garlic contains a compound known as allicin, which fights infection and bacteria, and a study recently showed that those who consumed garlic were two-thirds less likely to catch a cold.

5. Mushrooms.
"Mushrooms are rich in riboflavin, a B vitamin that fights free radicals and is key to starving off conditions such as heart disease and cancer. One cup of mushrooms contains 24 percent of your daily riboflavin needs, so using mushrooms as a side dish, topping for salad, or something to toss into an omelet is always a good idea.

6. Stay Hydrated.
"Water and tea, that is. Staying hydrated is so important in staying healthy. Sip water all day long; keep a water glass or bottle nearby and refill, refill, refill! Tea has so many health benefits. It helps the immune system by fighting the bacteria, viruses, and fungi that find their way into the body. Try to have two cups of unsweetened green tea—hot or iced—each day. "

7. Go MEGA With Omega-3s.
"Omega-3s seem to be a cure-all and the immune system is no exception. These healthy fatty acids can help reduce inflammation by increasing the body's airflow and protecting the lungs from colds and respiratory infection. Rich Sources of Omega-3 include, salmon, olive oil, and walnuts."

8. Curb your alcohol a bit.
"This does not mean that you can never have a drink again! Alcohol has the ability to shut down important immune system fighters, like white blood cells and cytokines, for an entire day. This makes the body prone to getting sick after a long night out on the town. The general rule of healthy drinking still applies here, though, so do not panic: Stick to one drink per day to keep defenses up and strong."
Credit:  Victoria Dawson Hoff

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