How Some Foods Can Help You Fight the Flu This Season

Author Joy Bauer is sharing tips with Inside Edition.

Did you know that some foods can boost your immune system and keep you healthy?

Nutritionist Joy Bauer shared her tips with Inside Edition as well as mom Jackie Kiefer and her two kids, who have already gotten sick this season.  

“There are certain foods that contain key compounds that can not only help to ward off colds and flu but also can help to minimize some of the lousy symptoms [like] the watery eyes, a scratchy throat, a stuffed nose,” Bauer said. 

When it comes to vitamin C, everyone thinks of oranges, but Bauer says there's something even better. 

“Guavas are actually busting with more vitamin C than almost any other fruit and they're delicious,” she said. “Vitamin C is important because it not only boosts your immune system but studies have shown that by taking in ample amounts of food rich in vitamin C, just like guava, you can shorten the duration and severity of a cold.” 

Pink grapefruits are also a so-called super fruit and are full of both vitamin C and beta carotene, another immunity booster

For a frozen treat, Bauer recommends combining pink grapefruit juice, guava juice, carrot juice, orange juice mixed with honey, a squeeze of lime and some ground ginger, and pouring it into ice pop molds.

But for those who prefer savory foods, there are some tasty snacks as well, like carrots, another great source of beta carotene.

“You can dip it in hummus; you can put it in your chicken noodle soup. There are so many things you can do with carrots. I like to make carrot fries,” Bauer added. 

Meanwhile, mushrooms contain antiviral compounds, but that's not their only cold-busting property.

“When you're feeling all stuffed up and out of sorts, mushrooms can help you ease inflammation and help you feel better,” Bauer said. 

And about that classic cold and flu remedy? 

“Grandma was definitely right about chicken soup because it's warm and it's a liquid, it's very soothing on a sore throat. Also it helps to loosen up some of the mucus membranes so that it opens up your nostrils so we can breathe again,” Bauer said.

For more tips, check out Bauer’s book, "Joy’s Simple Food Remedies." Read below for an excerpt:

Joy Bauer

Feel Better with Joy’s Simple Food Remedies
Beat Colds and Flu with Joy’s Food Remedies

Food is power. This is not some cliché—it’s true! More and more research is proving that key compounds in certain foods can help fend off countless conditions and keep us feeling our best. In the new book, JOY’S SIMPLE FOOD REMEDIES, Joy Bauer tackles 20 of the most common, everyday ailments (like bloating, low energy, headaches, anxiety & stress, and more!) and then based on the latest science, she provides natural, holistic remedies for each condition. For Inside Edition viewers, she shares the top 5 foods to help combat colds and flu. Read on and dig in!

Here’s sweet relief for the millions of Americans who suffer with watery eyes, a scratchy throat and a runny nose; we all know that cold and flu symptoms can be downright miserable. According to Joy, you can protect yourself—that is, help ward off germs and boost your immune system—by incorporating these 5 healing foods in your menu. What’s more, these picks can also help minimize your symptoms if you do end up getting sick.

#1 Chicken soup
You’ve heard that chicken soup is good for the soul. Research shows it is good for the body, too. Scientists have found that the hot fluid helps to loosen up mucous membranes and clear your nostrils so you can breathe better. Plus, it soothes a sore throat. Other research has shown that the combination of chicken and vegetables helps to dampen respiratory symptoms. Grab a spoon and have a bowl!

#2 Guava
This tropical fruit, which tastes like a mix between a strawberry and a pear, is packed with more vitamin C than an orange! Vitamin C is important because it can boost your immune system, and help cut the duration and severity of symptoms once you’ve already caught a cold.

#3 Mushrooms
These fungi possess anti-viral and anti-inflammatory compounds. They’re rich in beta-glucans and chitosans, nutrients that can help protect against colds, flu and other infections. All types of mushrooms are terrific, as they increase our “killer cells” to help stamp out bugs, so choose your favorite variety.
#4 Carrots
These crunchy crudité are loaded with beta-carotene, which is converted to vitamin A in the body. Just a small handful of baby carrots provides more than 200% of our RDA for vitamin A, which helps to boost immunity and keeps our mucous membranes that line the nose, sinuses and mouth healthy! Bonus: Cooked carrots are even more effective than raw because the key compounds are more easily absorbed by the body.

#5 Pink Grapefruit 
This citrus star plays double duty because it provides both vitamin C and beta- carotene. These two nutrients help boost your immune system and ward off colds. When you spot the pink variety in the grocery store, pop it in your cart and then dig in!

Try Joy’s Feel-Good Pops here.

Try Joy’s Portobello Supreme Pizza here.

For more healthy tips, follow Bauer on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. And for more healing foods and delicious recipes, check out Bauer's new book, "Joy’s Simple Food Remedies."