8 Superfoods for the Flu

Beyond chicken soup: What to feed your fever.
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4 Surprising Foods

If you couldn't get a flu shot this year and you're worried about avoiding a dangerous bout of the virus, take a close look at your daily meals and make sure you're eating a well-balanced diet rich in fruits and vegetables, complex carbohydrates, and low-fat protein. "A healthy diet combined with frequent exercise and adequate sleep is the best defense against flu," says Pat Vasconcellos, registered dietitian, a spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association in private practice in Boston. Vasconcellos also stresses the importance of washing your hands numerous times a day to keep your body germ-free, including after you eat one of the flu-fighting foods on our list.

Black Currants

They may not be as popular as oranges, but black currants are one of richest sources of vitamin C you can find -- around 2,000mg of vitamin C per 3.5 ounces, more than three times the recommended daily intake for adults. Getting enough vitamin C is crucial because it helps prevent infections and helps keep the immune system healthy. So keep your eyes peeled for both entree and dessert recipes that call for black currants.

Recommended serving size: 2/3 cup: 28 calories

Pork

The "other white meat" contains high levels of zinc and selenium, both of which help keep your immune system strong. Pork is also one of the best sources of B vitamins and contains only a little more total fat than beef. So when your family is sick of beef and you're looking for a quality protein source, try a pork entree instead.

Recommended serving size: 3.5 ounce tenderloin, raw: 122 calories

Grapefruit Juice

Mix up your morning breakfast with a glass of grapefruit juice instead of orange juice for a vitamin C-rich drink that's both sweet and tart. However, you should check with your doctor if you're on certain medications for blood pressure, AIDS, anxiety, or hay fever, as mixing grapefruit juice with certain drugs can lead to dangerous toxicity.

Recommended serving size: Scant 1/2 cup: 33 calories

Brussels Sprouts

Your kids might turn their noses up at the site of them, but Brussels sprouts are a great source of vitamin C, as well as fiber and folate. They boost anticarcinogenic glucosinolates, which have important cancer-fighting properties. Serve them lightly steamed, or include them in beef stew for a flu-busting boost of nutrition.

Recommended serving size: 3.5 ounces: 42 calories

Continued on page 2:  4 Trusty Staples

 

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