5 foods will help fight the flu

DENVER -- Getting a vaccine is not the only way to protect yourself from the flu this year.

Doctors at AFC Urgent Care are telling families to add five flu-fighting foods to their grocery list.

Doctors urge patients to get vaccinated, frequently wash their hands and add these foods to their diet in order to reduce their chances of becoming ill.

Garlic

Garlic contains allicin, a compound that is known to boost immunity.  You can crush, slice or chew garlic for it to produce properties that can build up immunity to viruses that cause the common cold or flu.

Chicken soup

For years, mothers around the world have put a bowl of chicken soup in front of their sick children.

A study published in the American Journal of Therapeutics supports the maternal instinct to “feed a cold.”

The research found most chicken soup recipes include a compound called carnosine, which can mobilize the immune system to fight the early stages of flu.

Just watch sodium content of soup, too much salt can cause dehydration.

Fish

Fresh salmon, tuna and trout are solid choices to get a beneficial dose of omega-3 fatty acids.

A study by researchers at Michigan State University found omega-3s can increase activity of white blood cells that fight flu by eating bacteria. It’s a good idea to eat fish two to three times a week during cold and flu season.

Whole grains

Whole grains are good for your gut during flu season.

They contain brown rice, oats and buckwheat which help build healthy bacteria in your stomach, plus whole grains are loaded with zinc, an immune system booster.

Fruits and vegetables

A substance found in a wide variety of fruits and vegetables, including red onions, grapes and broccoli, was found to reduce the likelihood of flu in mice in a study published by The American Physiological Society.

Quercetin has shown to have anti-viral properties in other studies as well.