Jamieson McCormack— Kick flu season in the asana with these six flu-fighting foods. You can nosh them separately or get creative and make one stellar, immunity-boosting soup—and if you do, don’t be shy, share the recipe.
Mushrooms possess two big weapons in your fight against the flu: selenium, which boosts our white blood cells’ production of cytokines (a substance that helps your body to clear out sickness) and an antimicrobial fibre called beta glucan, which helps activate ‘superhero’ cells that find and destroy infections. My absolute favourite mushrooms are shiitake, which taste rich and smoky and have medicinally used by the Chinese for thousands of years.
Sulfur-containing foods, like garlic, can stink out sickness thanks to the phytochemical allicin, an antimicrobial badass. I recommend two cloves each day.
Zinc rallies our immunity troops (our white blood cells) to attack bacteria and viruses. Pumpkin seeds are little zinc grenades and I recommend them raw and unsalted, about ¼ cup a day.
Beta-carotene, found in orange-coloured foods, is the mega-police in the growth and development of immune system cells and also helps neutralize harmful toxins. Sweet potatoes are also—most will agree—freaking delicious, so go crazy and eat one every day. Tip: if they’re organic, leave the skin on.
The antioxidants found in spices grease the wheels of our immune system, improving how it functions. Turmeric, cloves and cinnamon are three of my very favourite. I recommend a teaspoon of your favourite each day. Or, if you’re very brave, sweating it out with a flu-fighting tea of mixed spices.
A broth made from grass fed animal bones will wallop a punch of nourishing bone marrow, which helps the immune system by carrying oxygen to cells in the body. Side note: minerals such as calcium and phosphorus are essential for generating energy.
Jamieson McCormack is part of the Lululemon social media and online community team, and is a registered holistic nutritionist and passionate runner. As well, she’s a local improv comedian, which is super rad.
This story first appeared on The Lululemon Blog.