It’s mid-afternoon and your stomach is dictating your every move. But, this late in the year, what you eat can determine your health just as much as the weather. Your diet is critical to your year-round health. But, in the winter when the flu and other bugs are passed around there are food’s that can prevent you from getting sick–and help you through it. So, sit down and grab one of these 10 snacks that stop sickness. You might even find yourself enjoying what you’re munching on.
A root like ginger can keep your gut grounded rather than doing somersaults at your desk. Incorporating ginger into snacks isn’t that hard because it comes in many forms. You can even stop by the health food store for raw ginger snacks that’ll work well for your stomach. Already got the stomach flu? Don’t worry, ginger has anti-nausea properties to help you feel better.
Strawberries, blueberries, raspberries and goji berries are just a few berries that you can snack on throughout the day to keep your energy up and sickness away. Berries are full of antioxidants that keep your body healthy all year, but they’re also full of anthocyanins. Anthocyanins are compounds found in most berries that fight inflammation, infections and boost your immune system. It also gives berries like cranberries and blackberries their deep colors.
One important factor that keeps your immune system up and running is protein. Not eating enough or any protein at all will deplete your immune system. Without a fully functioning immune system you make yourself a target for seasonal sickness. The quickest, easiest way to incorporate protein into your diet is snacking on nuts. You can pick them up almost anywhere. From vending machines to gas stations to sticking a plastic baggy of nuts in your purse, feel free to grab a handful anytime.
This spice is another antioxidant, anti-fungal, anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial wonder. Not only does cinnamon contain properties that strengthen your immune system but it also works to fight sickness. In fact, mixing cinnamon with honey is one of the biggest immune boosts you can bestow upon your body. The concoction is known to soothe coughs, colds and sinus problems.
Okay, I know kale’s probably not your favorite, but hear me out. For starters, kale is known to help detox your body. And inside kale there are folates which are immune boosters. Vitamin C also lurks inside the leafy green, which is crucial to fighting the common cold. Generally, kale bolsters your immune system, actively fights off infections and regenerates other antioxidants throughout your body. If these facts don’t convince you enough, and if you still can’t get past the bitter taste, think of yummy recipes that will encourage you to incorporate kale into your diet.
Those who don’t fear garlic breath are probably the ones who know it’ll keep you from getting sick. Eating garlic can reduce symptoms of sickness and can help you heal faster. But studies show that garlic is most effective in fighting sickness if you eat it regularly. The sulfur-containing allicin found in garlic gives it its medicinal properties. Allicin is known to increase certain white blood cells that have a disease-fighting response against viruses, particularly the cold and flu.
They’re portable. They come in their own container. And, they’re great for before and after you get sick. Bananas are well known for their myriad of vitamins and minerals, like potassium, vitamin C and vitamin B6. So, they support your immune system if you eat them regularly. But bananas are even better for you when you’re sick. Sickness will drain you of energy and potassium, especially if you’re sweating and/or throwing up. Read: This is why so many people eat bananas after a hard workout. Plus, they’re softer and easier to digest, making bananas a perfect sick-diet staple.
This addition to the list might surprise you. Dragon fruit is a superfruit that’ll keep you from getting super sick. It’s full of vitamin C, several B vitamins and has iron, calcium and phosphorous. So, it keeps your immune system going and ready to fight any virus. Plus, it’s really easy to eat. Like a kiwi or banana, scoop out the insides or peel off the outer layer. Blend the entire pod for a bright-colored smoothie when you’re running errands, too.
Don’t tell me celery isn’t your fav — I already know. I also know it is one of the most alkaline based foods, so it fights off diseases by keeping your body’s pH levels normal. Celery is quick, low-calorie and convenient. Chop it up into a pasta salad, blend it into a juice or eat it with peanut butter and raisins on top. It’s one snack that has the potassium of a banana and the folates of kale with the low glycemic index for anyone watching their sugar intake.
The poster child of prevention, oranges keep you from getting sick because of their high vitamin C content. That’s why you see the Emergen-C packets mainly orange — or citrus — flavored. And, that’s why your mum made you guzzle OJ when you had a cold as a kid. Even if it was the kind with pulp. Containing vital vitamins, oranges are also known to shorten how long you have a cold. So, don’t forget to sneak in at least a few slices between meals.
Staying healthy in the colder seasons can be tricky, but hopefully, these 10 snacks that stop sickness will have your back. You don’t have to eat all of them or even a lot of them to stay safe from the common cold. Just remember to take care of yourself even when you’re on the go.