Combat Viruses and Bacteria With Immune-Boosting Foods

orange peel, peeling an orange

Combat Viruses and Bacteria this season

In the Northern hemisphere, its now peak time for flus and colds, which grip millions of Americans each year. And contrary to common belief, the best way to combat viruses and bacteria is not found in medicine cabinets its found in the kitchen.

orange peel, peeling an orangeTopical BioMedics, has partnered with Roufia Payman, the director of outpatient nutritional services at Northern Dutchess Hospital in Rhinebeck, NY, to provide a list of nutrition tips for top immunity-boosting foods for achieving optimum healing and wellness.

There is often confusion over whether the saying is “Starve a fever and feed a cold” or “Feed a fever and starve a cold.” The actual phrase, which dates back to the middle 1500s, claims people should starve a fever and feed a cold. But the fact of the matter is that starving is never the correct answer, making it easy to remember that both fevers and colds should be fed.

Foods that are rich in nutrients may help keep people well, or help your body fight off the infection and invasion of viruses and bacteria.

For starters, its always a good idea to include more raw fruits and vegetables in a diet as they provide an abundance of all important antioxidants and phytochemicals.

Zinc is an important mineral, as well, as it has antioxidant effects plus is vital to the bodys resistance to infection and to stimulate the immune system. Foods rich in zinc include eggs, meats, nuts, seafood, seeds, wheat germ, and whole grains.

The mineral selenium helps to boost immunity and increase the bodys production of cytokines, which help remove the flu virus. Selenium-rich foods include Brazil nuts and seafood, particularly lobster, oysters, crab, clams, tuna, and cod.

Its important to think protein, too. Its vital to help build and repair tissue and fight viral and bacterial infections. The best sources are lean, an include such choices as skinless chicken, turkey, sardines, and beans, as well as a good-quality whey protein powder.

Here’s a list of top immunity-boosting foods for optimum healing and wellness.

chicken soup, viruses and bacteria


Grandma was right nothing beats chicken soup for fending off sniffles. Not only does it provide the fluids needed to help fight off viruses, its a powerful mucus stimulant so it helps clear nasal congestion as well as thin mucus. Its also thought to have a mild anti-inflammatory effect than can help ease cold symptoms. Keep some organic chicken stock on hand, because studies have found that even commercial soup is as effective as homemade.



If you want to punch up the healing power of your chicken soup or any other dish add plenty of garlic and onions. When combined, these flavorful healers contain numerous antiseptic and immunity boosting compounds. As an added plus, garlic helps to open clogged sinuses.



No herbal medicine cabinet should be without mushrooms. They increase the production of cytokines, which are cells that help fight off infection. They also contain polysaccharides, which are compounds that support the immune system. The most potent cold- and flu-fighting shrooms are shitake, maitake, and reishi.



Citrus fruits contain hefty doses of powerhouse vitamin C. Studies have found that this antioxidant can reduce cold symptoms by 23 percent, and all thats needed is just one to eight grams (1,000 to 8,000 milligrams) to do the trick. Besides citrus fruits, other foods that have high amounts of vitamin C include papaya, sweet potatoes, butternut squash, tomatoes, broccoli, brussel sprouts, and red bell peppers.

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