A cold can sneak up on you, especially during the colder months. According to recent research, you are more susceptible to a cold when you are exposed to cold temperatures (never not listen to your mom and grandma – bundle it up, wear a scarf, put on an extra jacket !). While you may think it’s just random coughs here and there, cold and flu viruses manage to sneak into your cells and it takes around a week for your body to produce antibodies, to help destroy them. Before you can feel your body getting weaker, the symptoms may already start getting worse.
It again comes down to the matter of how important your immune system is and how you should boost your immunity.
Mushrooms are high in beta-glucans which activate your natural killer cells that help defend your immune system.
Shiitaki, Reishi, or Agaricus Blazei are all great and have been traditionally used in many cultures to reduce inflammation, improve gut immunity.
MORE FERMENTED FOODS
Fermented foods might improve your digestive health and gut health better than you think. A recent research from Georgia State University shows that fermented foods appear to help protect against the influenza virus, and even prevent a secondary infection. A study was carried out where a group of mice were pretreated with a lactic acid bacteria resulted in a 100% survival rate and weight loss prevention record while all the mice in the control group (injected with the same lethal dose but not pretreated) died. The pretreated mice also had 18 times less virus in their lungs than the control group. So yes, you better hop on to that fermented foods wagon this season, because everyone needs to try kimchi and kombucha at least once in their lifetime.
MORE PREBIOTIC FOODS
Prebiotic foods are those that contain high levels of inulin and FOS and provide the ‘fuel’ for good bacteria in your gut. Garlic is one good example. Studies have shown that garlic reduces the risk of becoming sick in the first place, as well as how long you stay sick. The cold-fighting compound in garlic is thought to be allicin, which has demonstrated antibacterial and antifungal properties. It’s best to eat garlic raw though because cooking destroys its antioxidant and antimicrobial properties. Other prebiotic foods to incorporate into your meals this winter are onions, shallots, leek, chickpeas, kale, oats, etc.,
MORE SEAWEED-BASED FOODS
Seafood is packed with omega-3 fatty acids – compounds that help reduce inflammation in the body. Chronic inflammation prevents your immune system from working properly and can contribute to colds and flu. Seafood such as fish and seaweed is also a good source of vitamin D, which is used by the body’s immune cells a. Fucoidan is a natural compound extracted from brown seaweed and has been well-known for its anti-cancer properties. But even healthy persons without cancer can still benefit from taking Fucoidan because it helps boost your immune system and reduce inflammation.