It's flu season.  You've heard the sniffles, throat clearing, and coughing that cuts through the sounds of the street, the bus, the house, and the office in random, raucous cacophonies of sickness. If you're one of the unlucky folks who falls sick this season, you can still try to keep the cough as short and painless as possible by eating immune-boosting foods!  Help your body fight the flu and live a little healthier!

Liquids

One of the most basic and essential rules of what to eat while you're sick is: keep hydrated.  Your body can easily become dehydrated when you're sick, so it's important to drink plenty of water or tea.  Carbonated beverages like ginger ale or lemon-lime sodas are good too, but you should let the drink fizzle down a little so that the bubbles don't upset your stomach. Broth-based soups are also a fabulous way to keep yourself hydrated and fill you with good nutrients at the same time!  

B6 and B12 Vitamins

Foods rich in vitamins B6 and B12 and other nutrients such as selenium and zinc can boost your immune system.  You can get all of these nutrients from healthful, lean proteins like fish, poultry, and eggs - and since protein is essential to keeping your body strong, you definitely shouldn't skimp out on them while you're ill (even if you've lost your appetite). If lean meats aren't in your diet, you can also get plenty of great protein from beans, nuts, and enriched grains!  

Flavonoid-rich foods

Flavonoids, which are responsible for some plant pigmentation, are known to increase immune system activation. Their  antioxidant power can facilitate healthy blood flow by eliminating potentially harmful free radicals and curbing cell damage.  They can also act as an anti-inflammatory, reducing extreme internal swelling.  They are particularly plentiful in citrus, so keep a nice supply of lemons, limes, grapefruit and oranges!  

Glutathione-rich foods

This potent anti-oxidant that is a great immune-booster and is vital to overall cell health.  It is sometimes toted as the "mother of all anti-oxidants" and is linked to the prevention of all kinds of illness, from simple colds to serious issues such as heart disease and Alzheimer's. Glutathione is most commonly found in watermelon, but you can also get it by adding cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, cabbage, kale, and collard greens to your diet!  

Here are a few Yummly recipes that might help!  

Old Fashioned Chicken Noodle SoupOld Fashioned Chicken Noodle Soup

White Bean Soup with KaleWhite Bean Soup with Kale

Hot and Sour Chicken SoupHot and Sour Chicken Soup

Lemon Rosemary SalmonLemon Rosemary Salmon

Citrus Honey Green TeaCitrus Honey Green Tea

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Photo Credits: The Fat Loss Authority, Men's Fitness and More, Counter Culture Beauty, My Daily Find, Dash Recipes, Eliza Domestica, The Guardian, Yum Blog, Southern Living

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