Fabiana is a writer, chef & wellness expert. She is also the culinary director at Green Apron Kitchen, NYC's premiere kids' culinary academy
Winter might be over, but that doesn't mean cold and flu season is. Remember those things? Well, they still exist. Good thing is there are foods that can combat them. And if you do succumb to one or the other, these foods can help reduce symptoms.
Chock full of good bacteria and loaded with vitamins, antioxidants and selenium, fungi like shiitake and maitake can help your immune system fight off colds. Mushrooms are incredibly versatile cooking ingredients and can be added to soups, casseroles, stir-fries, and pasta dishes.
We all know the benefit of Vitamin C. The best way to boost your immunity this cold and flu season is with daily intakes of real citrus - not the powdery or gummy kind. A medium-sized orange can provide you with 117 percent of your recommended daily intake which will help you fight off germs and free radicals. Since we are all about using all the parts of fruits and veggies - no stems left behind - , be sure to zest your oranges, lemons and limes and add the zest into salads, stir fry, pasta and even dessert for added flavor and health benefit - Vitamin C is hiding in there, too!
Red, orange and yellow bell peppers contain high levels of vitamin C (hello bright colors!). Since these veggies are so versatile, you can easily stock up on their antioxidant properties without getting bored. Nosh on them raw in a salad or in place of chips or sautee them to add to pasta or as a side dish with antioxidant rich garlic and onions.
Ginger root is a natural detoxifier, so adding it to juices, soups and stews not only provides a nice spicy flavor, but also helps to support healthy blood flow and function. Plus, it helps to loosen mucus and relieve the congesting symptoms of coughs and colds.