Tutor Doctor | Nov 22, 2013

Flu-busting foods: Keep your student flu-free this winter

Categories: Health

Flu outbreaks in schools are common as students gather in close proximity. Of course you teach your students to wash their hands regularly and to shield their mouths when coughing and sneezing, but this may not be enough to protect them from seasonal flu. Another way to prevent them from getting sick is to bolster their immune systems. To this end, make sure that they take a regular vitamin supplements and make sure that they also eat lots of these immune system-friendly foods.

Probiotics

This is the good kind of bacteria that aids in digestion and with the absorption of nutrients in the body. Probiotics are available in fermented foods like natural yoghurts and probiotic drinks. Supplements are available too. Probiotics reinforce the strength of intestinal walls and boost immune systems.

Ginger

Ginger has anti-viral and anti-bacterial properties and also helps to settle stomach and prevent nausea. Ginger has the same pain-relieving properties as over-the-counter pain medications. You can add ginger to fruit salads, soups and stir-fries or slice it thinly and steep in warm water to make a tea. Add honey for added anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties.

Chicken Soup

This really does work! Studies have shown that chicken soup has other benefits beyond rehydration and nutrition. Not only does chicken soup have mild anti-inflammatory properties, it is also thought to improve the ability of cilia, the tiny hair-like parts of the nasal passages, to protect the body from bacteria and viruses. Add garlic to your chicken soup to improve its healing powers. Garlic stimulates your immune system and has anti-microbial properties.

Leafy Dark Green Vegetables

Spinach, kale, collards, Swiss chard and other leafy greens are excellent flu-preventers. Packed with vitamins A, C, D, K, B1, B2, B6, and minerals such as zinc, iron, selenium, magnesium and copper, leafy greens are a great option for improving the immune system.

Sweet Potatoes

These tasty tubers are packed with beta carotene which can also be found in carrots. When absorbed into the body, its converted to vitamin A which helps neutralize toxins and combats respiratory infections. Sweet potatoes also combat free-radicals and this helps to boost the immune system.

Citrus fruit

Enjoy an orange or a grapefruit, or sip juice if you are not up for eating. The vitamin C in citrus fruit helps to boost the immune system. It’s a great preventative measure too as vitamin C helps to boost cell integrity so that they are more able to withstand germs and viruses.

To improve your immune system, avoid sugary or processed foods and always include seven fruits and vegetables in your daily diet. Drink fruit juices and green tea to boost your system and combat free radicals. Preventing illness is easier than you think and is just one of the plethora of positive benefits of eating well and exercising regularly.