What Foods Will Keep Your Family Healthy All Winter??

Last updated on August 29th, 2015 at 07:01 pm

Chicken soup for the common coldThis winter, a whopping 20 percent of Americans will come down with a bad case of the flu. But you don’t have to be one of them…and neither does anyone else in your family! Research shows that, in addition to getting your flu shot, eating certain foods can help you avoid the flu — as well as colds and illness in general. Here’s what to add to your grocery cart.

Yogurt

Probiotics, the healthy bacteria in yogurt, literally crowds out invading bad bacteria that’s trying to get into your system. That’s why, in one study, people who consumed a yogurt drink that contained Lactobacillus reuteri over an 80-day period took 33 percent fewer sick days. To make sure you’re getting a good dose of probiotics, look for the words “live bacteria” and “active cultures” on the label. Bonus: Yogurt is rich in calcium, which is essential for strong, healthy teeth, and most kids love it!

Garlic

This favorite flavor-booster contains allicin, a compound that fights off bacteria. According to a large British study, people who downed a daily garlic capsule for three winter months were two-thirds less likely to catch a cold. If they did get sick, they suffered for about four fewer days. Adding cooked garlic to your food might be even more effective.

Tea

According to a Harvard study, drinking black or green tea can rev up your immune system’s T cells so they destroy bacteria more quickly. And the antioxidants in green tea are great for your teeth. A large Japanese study found that every cup reduces gum inflammation.

Salmon

Omega-3 fatty acids, found in this flavorful fish, help cells remove toxins and take in nutrients more efficiently. And a recent study published in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association found that people who consumed the most omega-3s decreased their risk of gum disease by 22 percent.

Chicken Soup

Don’t wait until someone in your family is sick to serve up some soup. Cysteine, an amino acid released from chicken during cooking, helps calm the usual over-the-top response your immune system has to cold germs that causes many of the worst symptoms from a stuffed-up nose to a wracking cough. And it doesn’t have to be homemade. A University of Nebraska study published in Chest found that most supermarket brands prevented and alleviated cold symptoms just as effectively.  On a cold winter day, think hot bowl of soup.



About the Author

Nancy Kalish has written for many publications, including Parenting, Parents, Real Simple, Reader's Digest, More, Health, Prevention, Self and Fitness. She is the co-author of The Case Against Homework: How Homework Is Hurting Our Children and What We Can Do About It.

Comments

4 Responses to “What Foods Will Keep Your Family Healthy All Winter??”

  1. Kayla says:

    I took an interest in this post when I saw the title on the homepage and I was expecting an interesting list of foods but I was also expecting to be repulsed by most of them as I usually am with lists of healthy foods, however, my pallet must be evolving as I like 4 out of 5

    • Stefanie Zuckersazucker says:

      Funny – I think mine must be too 🙂 The only one I can’t do is salmon. Still 4 out of 5 seems like it might make a real difference when you look at the odds. 🙂 Thanks for stopping by!

  2. I can easily throw in three out of five of those (I actually already do) but the fish and garlic would be virtually impossible in this house! We’ve stocked up on yogurt though!

  3. Yes, garlic and green tea are really very helpful. Garlic controls our cholesterol level and green tea or black tea regulates our metabolism rate and maintain it. As winter is the time of consuming calories, that’s why garlic and green tea are more beneficial in winters.

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