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Top 10 Foods to Fight off the Flu

Scratchy throat, congested nose, and a headache are all too familiar, too annoying symptoms of the flu. But reaching to the medicine cabinet is not the wisest of steps. Try the refrigerator instead. From the famous chicken soup to strawberries and hot peppers, here is a list of the top 10 foods to combat the flu.

1) Chicken Soup
Chicken soup is packed full of energy and nutrients for a weak and tired flu sufferer. The noodles and broth provide carbs that will energize you, while the chicken is a source of lean protein great for retaining and building muscle.

Carrots, celery, and other veggies give your body the essential vitamins it needs to combat the illness. Some research has even shown that steamy chicken soup reduces mucous secretions.

Photo Credit: [http://www.saucygirlskitchen.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/09/IMG_6170.jpg]
2) Garlic
This beneficial vegetable is believed to battle colds, cancer, infection, and more. It is high in antioxidants–a type of cancer-fighting compound that cancels out the effects of free radicals.

Garlic is already incorporated into a wide variety of cuisines as a necessary ingredient. Italian foods especially make good use of garlic, but it can be added to so much more.

While garlic powders still have some of the health properties, fresh cloves contain more vitamins and minerals.

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3) Green Tea
In addition to boosting the immune system to reduce the chances of getting the flu by nearly one-fourth, green tea also increases the body’s metabolism rate to boost the fat burning and ups energy levels. It’s also a good source of the antioxidants.

If you’re planning to go to bed, however, don’t drink too much green tea because the caffeine might just keep you up all night.

Photo Credit: [http://images.wisegeek.com/green-tea.jpg]
4) Strawberries
This tasty fruit is a powerful flu fighter because it contains a ton of Vitamin C necessary for protecting the immune system. Vitamin C not only reduces your chances of catching the flu. it also shortens the duration of the illness should you still catch the it.

Photo Credit: [http://www.whatsonyourwall.com/abstract-art-5/abstract-fruit-strawberrys-colour-size-17114-31837_medium.jpg]
5) Lean meats
Lean meats including beefsteaks, chicken and turkey breasts, and other exotics are high in protein, zinc, and iron. Those with low iron in their blood are often tired and lethargic. Zinc helps to activate a special type of white blood cell that is involved in defending the body against invaders.

Photo Credit: [http://followthelita.files.wordpress.com/2011/05/fattybigstockphoto_fresh_meat_2690063.jpg]
6) Honey
This sugary concoction of processed bee saliva and flower nectar is a component of many flu medications. Honey is believed to reduce coughing and sore throat.

Photo Credit: [http://www.idealmagazine.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/honey-atroszko-sxc-top.jpg]
7) Hot Peppers
While some people can’t handle the heat, those who can should eat hot peppers on a daily basis. These little firecrackers can clear your sinuses, decrease mucus, and kill bacteria. The capsaicin in peppers not only reduces your flu symptoms, but also your chances of being attacked by a crook when used in a pepper spray.

Photo Credit: [http://www.peoplespharmacy.com/photos/hot_peppers_for_treating_psoriasis.jpg]
8) Oranges
Like strawberries, oranges contain lots of vitamin C. Contrary to popular belief, they are not the best source of the vitamin. Hot peppers, lemons, and a few other fruit have higher concentrations of vitamin C, but oranges are delicious and readily available.

Photo Credit: [http://www.economicliberty.net/images/ORANGES.jpg]
9) Broccoli
Broccoli is a bundle of essential vitamins and minerals including vitamin C, beta carotene, calcium, and antioxidants–all of which aid in the fight against the flu. Some people might find this cruciferous vegetable unappetizing, so cooking it might make it more palatable.

Photo Credit: [http://www.terapii-alternative.com/tmp/image/broccoli3.jpg]
10) Spinach
For those who don’t like broccoli, spinach makes a great alternative because it contains almost all of the same nutrients. It’s very versatile and can be enjoyed in a number of pasta and meat dishes.

Photo Credit: [http://www.healthywithagel.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/Spinach.jpg]
Eat sensibly to keep your health in perfect shape!

Featured Image Photo Credit: <a href=”http://www.publicdomainpictures.net/view-image.php?image=3043&picture=strawberry-background”>Strawberry Background</a> by Petr Kratochvil

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