It feels like when you turn on social media, you are surrounded by the flu! One can only feel like it’s a matter of time before their moment comes. Apparently, it doesn’t have to be so! University of Michigan researchers did a study in which they exposed 17 healthy people to the flu virus. They all got sick, right? Wrong. Half of the participants got sick and half of them had no response. What gives? Duke University Medical Center researchers stated “There is a behind the scene active immune response even when you don’t get sick. What we found were differences in their biological metabolism and gene expression. These differences had to do with antioxidants.” The article goes on to state “Indeed, eating fresh fruits and vegetables to load up on antioxidants may be the answer to avoid getting sick with the flu.”
Before getting started, it is VERY IMPORTANT to note (and I will repeat myself later): Diet always comes first! There is no way to supplement a bad diet. With that being said, I leave you with the top sources of antioxidants from food and supplementation. Boost on, boost on!
- Goji Berries. Goji berries have an extremely high ORAC score, which indicates it’s ability to work as an antioxidant and fight off those harmful free radicals (hence the anti-aging claims that have accompanied this fruit for centuries). Learn more here…
- Elderberry. Elderberry has been shown to be effective against the flu virus, reducing inflammation and boosting immunity. According to webmd:
“The flu,” also called influenza. A specific syrup containing elderberry juice (Sambucol, Nature’s Way) seems to relieve flu symptoms and reduce the length of time the flu lasts when taken by mouth within 24-48 hours of the first symptoms. Some research also shows that an elderberry lozenge (ViraBLOC, HerbalScience) also reduces symptoms of the flu. Symptom relief seems to occur within 2 to 4 days of treatment for most people..”
- Vitamin C. Top food sources include citrus (oranges, lemons, limes, grapefruit), berries, kale, kiwi, strawberries, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, and bell peppers (all colors). Diet always comes first! There is no way to supplement a bad diet. Think, lots of brightly colored fruits and vegetables! To supplement your brightly colored diet, consider a source of vitamin C that is naturally sourced from food (rather than ascorbic acid), such as this brand here. Pure Synergy is non-GMO, wildcrafted, and contains a plethora of antioxidants!
- Glutathione. Glutathione is the body’s major antioxidant. It is considered the holy grail of longevity. The challenge is finding a source that can be efficiently absorbed and utilized by the body. Other times, when individuals supplement, without doing it properly, can have adverse side-effects. The safest recommendation is to boost your intake of sources that naturally increase the bodies production of glutathione. These include:
- Milk Thistle. (I take this daily to help boost my livers ability to rid the body of toxins). The main ingredient in Hepasil is milk thistle extract—one of the most powerful currently known antioxidants. Milk thistle helps increase the amount and activity of several antioxidant enzymes involved in detoxification such as, you guessed it, glutathione.
- Sulfur rich foods: Arugula, broccoli, watercress, radish, kale, cabbage, brussels sprouts, cauliflower, turnips, and collard greens.
- Folate rich foods in order to bump up the body’s ability to methylate more efficiently: Garbanzo beans, pinto beans, lentils, black eyed peas, spinach, asparagus, avocado, beets, and broccoli.
- Selenium rich foods: 6 Brazil nuts, chicken, 1 large egg, sardines, yellow fin tuna, halibut, grass-fed beef, and turkey.
- Resveratrol. Resveratrol is an antioxidant with a multitude of biological activities. It is naturally occurring in red wine, grapes, and peanuts. I know what you’re thinking..”where is that bottle of wine?!” Not so fast..one would need to consume far too much to receive the great benefits of this antioxidant. Your best bet on this one is supplementation. My daily source is included in my multivitamin. Oregon State University provides a great breakdown of this powerful antioxidant. Click here to learn more..
- Chlorophyll. Chlorophyll is the responsible party for providing plants that bright, beautiful green we all love. Food sources of chlorophyll include green beans, spinach, parsley, arugula, peas, leaks, and wheatgrass. The blog, Cook Almost Anything, provides an interesting recipe on how to make your own Chlorophyll from parsley. If you’re not up for the DIY on this one, this organic source can do just the trick.
- Whole Food.
- Wild Blueberries.
- Raw Cacao Nibs. Be careful! Some brands add sugar or sweeteners to this fantastic product. Here is a delicious way to use them!
- Kidney Beans.
- Turmeric. The most delicious source, with NO sugars, sweeteners or preservatives can be found here. For tips on how to utilize this great tea, read up here.
- A multivitamin with super antioxidants. The video says it all.
HaaloBorn with a pearl spoon in her mouth, Haalos future was soon decided.. (2007, June 01). Making Chlorophyll. Retrieved February 15, 2018, from http://cookalmostanything.blogspot.com/2007/05/making-chlorophyll.html
Resveratrol. (2018, January 01). Retrieved February 15, 2018, from http://lpi.oregonstate.edu/mic/dietary-factors/phytochemicals/resveratrol
Taylor, K. H. (2011, August 30). Why some people don’t get the flu. Retrieved February 15, 2018, from http://www.nbcnews.com/id/44275043/ns/health-cold_and_flu/t/why-some-people-dont-get-flu/#.WoW2xujwbIU