With flu season in full force, students are some of the most at-risk individuals for getting sick because of their constant close contact with others.
Rather than reaching for the cold medicine when illness strikes, avoid getting sick altogether by protecting yourself and eating your way to health.
Food can provide significant benefits in building up the immune system, which can then help to fight off infection-causing viruses and bacteria.
So whether you live in the dormitory or in a college apartment, these three immune-boosting foods are easy to find in the college cafeteria or at the campus grocery store.
1. Oranges: Loaded with vitamin C, this wonder fruit is in season right now, making it not just easy to get but also you’ll be more apt to find some good deals on them. Even though the scientific verdict is still out on whether or not vitamin C plays a direct role in preventing or treating infections like the common cold, health experts still consider oranges as a powerful and nutritious source of vitamin C as well as folate and fiber. Plus they are portable so toss one in your backpack for a healthy in-between class snack.
2. Yogurt: Loaded with probiotics and live active cultures, yogurt can also help to bolster the immune system. Plus it contains calcium and vitamin D, two other nutrients that have been associated with a host of health benefits like a strengthened immune system. But many popular yogurts also contain copious amounts of sugar so opt for a low-sugar one or better yet, choose Greek or plain yogurt and sweeten with a dash of honey. Yogurt containers can easily fit into your backpack as well. Just grab a spoon from the local coffee shop and you have a great immune-boosting snack.
3. Beans: Packed with fiber, protein and zinc, a gold star immune-boosting nutrient, beans are a great and cheap way to ward off infections. Zinc increases the production of white blood cells that help to fight infection and gives these cells more punch to fight foreign invaders. Toss some garbanzo beans in a salad, make a pot of chili or add some black beans to a burrito.
Do yourself a favor and make these foods a staple part of your winter diet. Your health and grades will thank you.