Natural flu fighters: Here are foods that aren't oranges, grapefruits to consume when sick

A visit to the doctor's office with symptoms of a cold or flu may get you a prescription for medicine. But doctors also say there are certain foods that you may not be aware of that are high in vitamins, minerals and other nutrients that help support a healthy immune system.

Oranges and grapefruits get all the Vitamin C glory when it comes to boosting your immune system. But, there are some other foods that are more than capable of stepping up in that department.

One cup of strawberries or raw broccoli gives you nearly 100% of your daily Vitamin C intake. And, a medium-sized red bell pepper contains nearly double the daily value.

"I'm a medical doctor and I prescribe medicine, but I always like to take the natural approach whenever possible, and food is medicine," said Dr. Gena Lewis of UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital.

Garlic and olive oil have anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial properties which help fight off infection. Bone broths also contain a more concentrated dose of vitamins, minerals and amino acids, which strengthens your immune system and kicks sickness to the curb.

"There's a growing body of evidence that shows that healthy nutrition and medically-tailored meals can significantly improve overall health outcomes," said Dr. Richard Seidman, the chief medical officer at L.A. Care Health Plan.

However, knowing which foods to avoid when you're sick is equally as important. Doctors recommend avoiding alcohol, caffenated beverages, crunchy crackers and chips, which can aggravate a sore throat. Processed foods also weaken the immune system.
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