If you’re beginning to worry about the cold and flu season, you’re not alone. Maybe you’ve made it this far with no symptoms, but it’s always a good idea to give your immune system an extra boost. Two percent of Americans have already suffered with the flu this season, and seven percent have battled a cold—and the season has just begun. Eight to ten percent of people will have a case of the sniffles by December and January. It’s vital to keep up with your multivitamins, sleep, and hand washing, but there are other things you can do. Here are some immunity-boosting breakfasts that can help you start your day off on the right foot.
Fruit Salad. Full of vitamin C, a citrus-y salad might be just what the doctor ordered. Choose fruits like papaya, kiwi, and even cantaloupe for a bowl of juicy, vitamin-packed goodness.
Sunny-Side Up. As the weather gets cooler, chances are you’re not getting as much sun. Lack of vitamin D in your diet during the fall and winter months might be one of the reasons you’re getting sick, and getting enough of the vitamin might be exactly what your body needs to help reduce your risk of catching the sniffles, and can even fight colds. According to Time, the benefits are even bigger in people who were lacking the vitamin already. Try sunny-side up eggs—one egg yolk has 37 IUs of vitamin D, which is six percent of your recommended daily intake.
Yogurt Boost. For some serious zinc—three milligrams, to be exact, try adding an ounce of wheat germ to your morning cup of yogurt for a nutty, sweet flavor boost. It’s a vegetarian source of the mineral, and zinc can help to shorten a cold by about a day and a half.
Salmon Toast. Another great source of vitamin D is salmon, so try some smoked salmon on whole grain toast with cheese for a hearty—and healthy—breakfast. According to Ilyse Schapiro, RD, CDN, dairy products can aggravate congestion in some, but not others, so a bit of protein-packed cheese might still be a good addition to your meal. Protein can help your body create more white blood cells to fight off infections like colds.
Omelet. Another way to get eggs, this time with a boost of vitamin C. A cup of chopped red pepper contains 190 milligrams of vitamin C, and comes with a walloping dose of vitamin A, which can help to grow mucosal cells—the first line of defense against harmful bacteria, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.
Autumn Granola. Add some pumpkin seeds to your homemade granola for a kick of three milligrams of zinc, which is about 20 percent of your recommended daily intake. You can also add them to cereal, oatmeal, or yogurt.
Tea. Want the best addition to your breakfast during the cold months? Try a cup of tea—especially green tea—to help boost your immune system with antioxidants that can help fight viruses. Any additional liquid can also help to reduce congestion, so a cup of tea and good hydration with water can help tremendously.
Always consult your chiropractor or primary care physician for all your health related advice.
Image Credit: breakfast by meglet127, used under a creative commons license.