There are no known cures for colds and flu during the winter months, so cold and flu prevention is key. A proactive approach to warding off colds and flu is apt to make your whole life healthier. A healthy immune system starts with a diet rich in fruits and vegetables that will support your body with vitamins, such as C, K, A, and D. Even the slightest deficiency in these nutrients can lower your immune system defenses, potentially making you more susceptible to infections. Fruits should always be a part of our diet, regardless of the season.
Bananas are rich in nutrients. They have a lot of dietary fiber, vitamin A, B6, and potassium, which helps your body fight infection. This makes them a good treat for the intestine and muscles. In addition, eating a banana can be quite filling, even though the fruit doesn’t have many calories, which is why many people highly regard bananas a good alternative snack. Eat your bananas sliced over whole-grain cereal and double your germ-busting power.
According to traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), during the cold season, it is more likely for external pathogens to enter the body. These pathogens disrupt the flow of qi through the lungs, causing abnormal secretions in the respiratory tract. Water chestnuts reverse this flow by helping to sustain a healthy respiratory system during the winter months.
The perfect on-the-go snack, apples are rich in flavonoids. The antioxidant power of apples is estimated to have more than 1,500 mg of vitamin C. In TCM, apples are considered to have a cool and sweet character, and are regarded as being the protector of cardiovascular health during the wintertime. They are also said to improve the function of the respiratory system and lungs. Apples are also a good remedy for diarrhea, as it is related to the heat aspect of the pathogenic factor offending the body and apples have a cooling effect.
According to nutrition experts, winter jujubes have a reputation in China of being the “king of fruits.” This comes from the fact that they are very rich in vitamin C. Just 100 grams of fresh jujube contains 352 mg of vitamin C, which is roughly the vitamin C content of 70 apples or 140 times that of one pear. Putting winter jujube on your daily meal list is not a bad idea, as it can enhance your body’s resistance during the winter months.
Ruby red, delicious, and nutrient-rich pomegranates pack a mighty punch in safeguarding your health during the wintertime. Pomegranates contain a unique and powerful antioxidant called punicalagin, the most abundant antioxidant in pomegranates, responsible for more than half of the antioxidant activity of pomegranate juice. Some people have the misconception that the redder a pomegranate is, the sweeter it tastes. This is not true, as there are a great number of different pomegranate varieties out there — some are red and some even yellow.
The sweet, green Kiwi fruit is jam-packed with antioxidant vitamins C and E. Vitamin C is powerful. It not only helps get rid of a cold or flu, but is essential in preventing it in the first place. Vitamin C increases the production of antibodies and white blood cells, which help fight against infections. Vitamin E is required for the production of immunoglobulins. These act as your body’s own personal bodyguards, as they destroy all those pathogens that try to do you harm during the winter months.
Grapefruits are rich in vitamin C and vitamin P (flavonoids). Flavonoids are, strictly speaking, not really vitamins, but they do posses vitamin-like properties. Grapefruits are also rich in soluble cellulose, which among other ingredients can accelerate the recovery of damaged skin tissue and even promote weight loss among other things. One should note, however, that due to the chemical nature of grapefruits, they should be avoided while on antihypertensive drugs, as the fruit may affect the property of the drugs.
Citrus is a general term that includes oranges, grapefruits, lemons, and the like. They provide a good source of potassium for healthy blood pressure, folic acid, and are an excellent source of antioxidant vitamin C, which has been shown to help support a healthy immune system. In TCM, citrus fruits are also regarded as having the effect of moistening the lungs, relieving coughs, removing phlegm, and vitalizing the spleen. They are a valuable nutritious resource, especially for people who suffer from bronchitis and other cardiovascular diseases.