Can Your Diet Help you Avoid the Flu?

Fruit 584x342Flu activity remains high across the nation, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The federal agency recommends everyone get immunized against the flu and practice good hand washing to prevent the spread of the contagious viral illness.

Can what you eat really protect you against the flu?

The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics says good nutrition may not guarantee you avoid contracting influenza, but that people can “protect themselves against infections and boost their immunity through nutrition.”

Emily Rubin, RD, a clinical dietitian in the Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology at Jefferson University Hospitals recommends making sure you are getting enough vitamin C and omega-3 fatty acids.

Emily Rubin headshot 250x300“It’s definitely important to get enough vitamin C – so oranges as well as dark green veggies and berries are good food choices,” she says. “Moreover, omega-3 fatty acid might even help because it’s an anti-inflammatory. Omega-3 is found in salmon or tuna, almonds and walnuts, and flax seeds.”

Taking precautions can improve your chances of avoiding the flu, but it doesn’t guarantee it. That’s why Rubin emphasizes making sure you stay well hydrated to avoid being dehydrated if you do get sick.

Check out our Health eCooking pages to find tasty recipes that include tuna, walnuts and other dishes that will help boost your immune system.

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