When it seems as if everyone around you is coming down with a nasty case of the flu, you know you’ve got to help give your body the best chance at warding off illness. Of course, you’ll be practicing good hand-washing habits, you got your flu shot earlier in the year, and you’re focusing on rest and relaxation. Those are all critical to your health. But don’t forget about your kitchen. It holds some surprising flu-prevention power.
Some foods directly stimulate your immune system, but you should also aim to reduce the bites that bring it down. “Real foods will allow your immune system to function properly,” says Chris D’Adamo, PhD, director of research at the Center for Integrative Medicine at the University of Maryland School of Medicine. The main takeaway: Reduce your intake of processed foods as much as possible, especially during cold and flu season.
After limiting processed picks, start focusing on foods that will give your immunity a boost. Here are six that experts eat to stay healthy themselves. Even better: They’re delicious and are probably already some of your favorites. Here’s to a (hopefully) flu-free season.