by: Valencia Porter, M.D., M.P.H., FACN
When the weather turns chilly, you spend more time indoors where the air is recycled and you’re in closer quarters with other people who might be harboring cold-causing viruses. Yet even if you share an office, plane ride, or home with someone who is sneezing, sniffling, and coughing, you can stop a cold in its tracks by incorporating these immune-boosting superfoods into your diet this season.
Brightly Colored Fruits and Veggies
Brightly colored fruits and vegetables are packed with immune-supporting vitamins, including vitamins A, C, and E. In addition to the classic oranges, try blueberries, sweet potatoes, pomegranates, carrots, spinach, kale, and broccoli.
Garlic has antiviral, antifungal, and antibacterial properties that can help keep you healthy. European health authorities support the use of garlic for the treatment of coughs, colds, and sinusitis. Although fresh, raw garlic is reported to have the most health benefits, most of its potency will still be retained if you chop or crush it and allow it to stand for 10 minutes before cooking. Take 1 to 2 cloves per day for prevention, and a single clove, 3 to 4 times daily, for acute infection. If you don’t like the taste of garlic, look for garlic capsules providing a daily dose of 4 to 8 mg of allicin, a key compound in garlic with potent antibacterial and antioxidant properties. You can also enjoy onions and leeks, which have high allicin content.
(Precautions: Garlic may interfere with medications used to treat HIV, and in large amounts may have a blood-thinning effect.)