5 foods that can help you fight the flu
Updated On: Nov 13 2013 05:28:31 PM CST
Winter is just around the corner, and as you break out the jackets, scarves and mittens, you might also want to round up the tissues and humidifiers.
Washing your hands, getting the flu shot and eating right might prevent the sniffles, sneezes and coughs.
While eating an apple a day isn't really going to keep the doctor away, eating yogurt, sweet potatoes, lean beef and kiwi just might, according to The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia.
"Food and nutrition can prevent sickness and help when sick," said Heather Johnson, a registered dietitian.
Yogurt, experts said, is packed with good bacteria that can prevent viruses like the flu.
"Probiotics, good bacteria, help replenish with loose stools, diarrhea," Johnson said.
Vitamin A-rich foods, like sweet potatoes, are believed to help maintain healthy skin. Experts said the skin is the largest and first defense organ.
A diet that includes lean beef can also prevent catching the bug. Lean beef is loaded with protein and zinc, which help build healthy cells.
"Zinc deficiencies are seen with a lot of immunological dysfunctions," Johnson said.
Just two ounces will provide 50 percent of a 4- to 8-year-old child's needs, according to The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. Zinc can also be found in other foods.
"For you vegetarians, cereals are fortified with Zinc," Johnson said.
Experts said kiwi is rich in vitamin C.
"Green sources are higher than citrus foods. If you're not a kiwi eater, other citrus fruits are also high in vitamin C," Johnson said.
Vitamin C won't prevent a cold, but research shows it can slash symptom time and severity.
Last but not least, let water wash out germs. Johnson said it is important for people of all ages to stay hydrated all year long.
Experts encourage people to eat everything in moderation. Too much of any nutrient can be dangerous.
For more information about nutrient standards check out the U.S. Department of Agriculture's "Chose My Plate website. Check with your physician or a dietitian about specific questions
Copyright 2013 WFMZ. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
Woman's body found in Lehigh Parkway
Coroner: 2 males struck, killed by passing train in Upper Milford Twp.
Woman charged with kidnapping estranged girlfriend in Lehigh Co.
Police: Berks man drove snowmobile into cars, fired gun at wife
Victims identified in Wilson double-shooting
Women brawl at Walmart; charges filed
Protesters spar in Bethlehem over immigration crisis
Man charged in deadly DUI crash near victim's home
Effort man, 31, killed in ATV accident
Counterfeiters victimize businesses in Northampton County