Flu Fighting Foods

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Story Updated: Jan 21, 2013

The 2013 flu season is reaching epidemic proportions. Beyond the flu shot, and avoiding physical contact like handshakes...how about pumping up your immune system at the grocery store?!

Experts at the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics have come up with a list of smart food choices that can help boost your immunity.

Start with protein. Lean meat, poultry, seafood, eggs, beans and soy products can all help build your defenses.

Vitamin A works to protect you from infections by keeping your skin, respiratory system and tissues in your mouth and stomach healthy. Your best bets here include colorful carrots, kale, spinach, sweet potatoes, and red bell peppers.

Vitamin C boosts immunity and helps you form antibodies that fight off infection. Citrus fruits of all kinds are a great place to start.

Nuts are packed with Vitamin E... which works as an antioxidant neutralizing free radicals.

Throw in some almonds or sunflower seeds for a little healthy Zinc. It helps the immune system work properly and may help wounds heal. You can also find it in lean beef, crab, black eye peas and tofu!

Bottom line, according to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics...foods that are rich in nutrients help fight infections and may help prevent illness. Call it flu-trition!

I'm Dr. Cindy Haines of HealthDay TV with the health news for you and your family.

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The UHS Sports Medicine Program specializes in diagnosing and treating orthopedic and sports-related injuries, providing care on an outpatient basis. The program combines the expertise of certified athletic trainers and physical therapists, who work closely with sports medicine physicians on our medical staff to help patients resume their physical activities as soon as possible.