What foods can help me avoid catching a cold or the flu?

Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)
Steel your body against a season of colds and the flu. Boost your immunity with these Oz-approved superfoods.
  • Tahini: A classic Mediterranean flavor, this peanut butter-like spread is made from ground sesame seeds. It contains two immunity-boosting ingredients: magnesium and zinc. Try tahini with hummus or in an open-faced sandwich with honey and apple. It also makes a great dip for veggies. Mix 1 cup yogurt, 1 minced clove of garlic, 1 tablespoon of tahini, and the juice of 1 lemon for a nutritious and tasty spread. Eat 2 tablespoons of tahini each day; it will only cost you 180 calories, and your immune system will thank you
  • Black pepper and oregano: Although it’s known for making you sneeze, black pepper can actually help to ward off the sniffles. Black peppercorns are high in piperine, a compound with anti-inflammatory qualities that can reduce swelling in joints. Piperine also helps you absorb the benefits of other spices. In its fresh leaf form, oregano releases aromatic oil that is antimicrobial and antiviral. It’s been shown to kill Staph bacteria on the skin and E. coli in food. It even fights off yeast infections! A study at Cornell University found that oregano was effective against 30 different germs! Experience the benefits yourself by crumbling a fresh leaf onto your pizza or pasta. Try for 2 teaspoons of both black pepper and oregano per week to boost your immunity.
  • Pumpkin: Pumpkins contain beta-carotene, a powerful antioxidant found in all bright orange, yellow, and red fruits and veggies. Your body converts these carotenes into vitamin A, which is essential for a strong and healthy immune system. Pumpkins also contain zinc, a powerful immunity-booster. Have a cup of pumpkin each day to obtain your daily recommended dose of vitamin A. Mix a can of 100% pumpkin puree with a teaspoon of butter. Add a sprinkle of stevia and cinnamon. Heat the mixture in the microwave for a delectable side dish.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.