COVID and plague and swine-flu, oh my!
Everywhere you look, there’s something new to worry about. Some new disease that’s spreading somewhere or killing squirrels or something. Are we being blitzed by constant health hazards, or have we been ultra-sensitive to news about viruses due to the recent scares? Is there a way to boost your immune system against such travesties?
There are constant stories about companies and governments making efforts to prevent infections or to slow infections or to sustain herd immunity or to do something else entirely. Wear gloves. Don’t wear gloves. Wear masks. Don’t wear masks. Wear masks.
All of this stuff can be alarming, and quite honestly, exhausting.
So, here’s the deal: this blog isn’t going to tell you that we’re all doomed as many other blogs and articles might suggest, conversely, it’s just going to help you boost your immune system so it can work smarter, not harder (not sure that phrase applies. Sorry). Despite all that’s going on in the spooky virus world, there’s still the regular flu, cold, allergies, and sinus infections we have to deal with on a year-to-year basis.
Deal with allergies on a regular basis? Struggle with sinus headaches and pressure in the face? Afraid you’ve got COVID-19 despite only having a runny nose? Don’t worry, we’ve all been that last one at one point or another.
Without continued time wasting, here’s the list you’ve been waiting for.
What foods boost your immune system?
You’ve probably heard this a thousand times, but never tried it. If you’re anything like me, trying a new diet or new foods can be daunting, leading to avoidance and apathy. That’s no way to live because then it just exacerbates the issues at hand. For example, your diet might be contributing to worsening sinus congestion. Here are some foods that might help boost your immune system.
You may have not had spinach since you were force-fed it as a child, but its health benefits really are promising. And honestly, it doesn’t taste that bad if combined with the right ingredients. One of the nutrients is called folate, “which helps your body make new cells and repair DNA” according to WebMD.
This one’s a hit-or-miss with a lot of people, but cooked correctly with the right meal can be rather tasty. Not only that, but broccoli has a fair share of vitamins that amplifies that immune system you’ve got.
Normally thought of as the nausea fighter, ginger’s actually good at other things too. “This knobby root is also a good source of antioxidants…”, says WebMD. Continuing with, “…Antioxidants work best in your body when you get them straight from fruits and veggies.”
This one’s really a “duh” addition to the list. Oranges and orange juice have always been a staple in getting better, and there’s a reason for that. “According to a review conducted by the National Centre for Epidemiology and Population Health, at the Australian National University, vitamin C is helpful in preventing the common cold for people exposed to sickness-inducing environments, such as cold weather, and can help lower the duration and severity of a cold” (Frank, 2017).
Even if you’re not really into seafood (I’m not), salmon is a good place to start. It’s a great source of zinc, a cold-fighting nutrient. TODAY says, “Wild salmon is filled with zinc, a nutrient that has been proven to assist with reducing common cold symptoms.” Also, just look at at the bear in the above picture. Does he look like he has a cold? No, because he’s eating salmon. Be like the bear.
Not necessarily a food by itself, but it goes great on just about everything. More garlic = more happiness, that is, unless you’re a vampire. If you’re not a vampire, garlic is a great way to potentially reduce cold symptoms/duration.
There are, of course, other foods that tackle colds and flus the same way, so here’s an honorable mentions list:
- Dark chocolate
- Sweet potatoes
Remember, foods are great at reducing symptoms, duration, and can boost your immune system, but don’t solve the problem at the heart of it all. If you struggle with allergies or sinus infections, the Ear, Nose and Throat Institute has a variety of treatments tailored to your needs.
For same-day or Saturday appointments, call 770-740-1860 or fill out the form at the top of the page.
- Robinson, J. (2018, September 10) 16 Foods That Boost Your Immune System [Health article] Retrieved on July 16th, 2020 from https://www.webmd.com/cold-and-flu/ss/slideshow-immune-foods
- Frank, G. (2017, December 29) 17 immune-boosting foods to get you through cold and flu season [Health article] Retrieved on July 16th, 2020 from https://www.today.com/series/start-today/17-immune-boosting-foods-get-you-through-cold-flu-season-t120427