Summer cold season is in full swing!  Here are some foods that can help you ward off a nasty cold or flu:

Broccoli is a true summer cold and flu fighter because it is high in vitamin C (one cup has 135 percent of the daily recommended value) and rich in the antioxidants lutein, zeaxanthin and beta-carotene. On top of all that, it is also a good source of omega 3s and the anti-inflammatory agents kaempferol, isothiocyanatess, which can help relieve summer allergy discomfort. Broccoli is delicious steamed or stir-fried broccoli, but eating it raw provides the biggest cold-fighting punch.

Yogurt is rich in the probiotic lactobacillus, which boosts the immune system and promotes healthy digestion by preventing harmful bacteria from growing in the gastrointestinal tract. Yogurt is both a convenient way get probiotics in your diet and incredibly versatile in recipes- delicious in dressings, dips and sauces, or perfect all on its own.   

Red wine can help ward off the common cold because it contains flavonoids, antioxidants found in red grapes that have been shown to fight nasal viruses.  Red grapes also contain resveratrol and polyphenols, which help prevent cold and flu viruses from entering the system.

Cinnamon has been a staple in Chinese medicine for centuries thanks to its high anti-oxidant activity coupled with its strong anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties. One way to use cinnamon to relieve cough and sore throat is steep two sticks in boiling water and use the brew to make supercharged cups of green tea.

Black Pepper is a natural expectorant that helps break up mucus and phlegm, which helps relieve cold symptoms quicker. An interesting side note:  Two teaspoons of black pepper contain 40 percent of your daily recommended intake of manganese, an essential nutrient for bone production and blood sugar control.

For delicious high fiber meal plans, recipes and tips on healthy eating, drinking and losing weight, check out my latest book, The Miracle Carb Diet: Make Calories and Fat Disappear – with Fiber!

Tanya Zuckerbrot MS, RD, is a registered dietitian in New York City and the author of two bestselling diet books:  The Miracle Carb Diet: Make Calories and Fat Disappear – with fiber and The F-Factor Diet. Subscribe to Tanya’s free weekly newsletter and follow her on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and LinkedIn

Tanya Zuckerbrot MS, RD, is a Registered Dietitian in New York City and the author of two bestselling diet books: The F-Factor Diet and The Miracle Carb Diet: Make Calories and Fat Disappear – with Fiber.

Subscribe to Tanya’s FREE Weekly Newsletter and follow her on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest. To learn more about Tanya’s private nutrition counseling services visit www.ffactor.com.