11 Foods That Ease Your Flu Symptoms

As temperatures begin to plummet and darkness spans the horizon by early evening, it's time to safeguard our immune systems in preparation for another year filled with sore throats and irritating coughs. While flu shots are a good way to protect the body against the flu, they can't guarantee us a sickness-free winter. So what happens if you feel flu symptoms coming on? In addition to seeking medical care, you can load your refrigerator and pantry with immune-boosting edibles. Implementing proper nutrition can not only speed up your recovery, but also boost your immune system and ease some of those flu symptoms.

Apple Cider Vinegar

This powerful liquid creates an alkaline environment that helps kill bacteria and viruses. WebMD suggests creating, "a thick, viscous gargle made with honey and apple cider vinegar."

Chicken Soup

The age-old common cold remedy is a powerful immune booster, loaded with protein, vitamins, and anti-inflammatory properties.


Garlic contains the phytochemical allicin, which acts as an antiviral and antibacterial agent. According to Heal With Food, "Research shows that letting crushed garlic sit for 10 to 15 minutes before cooking it helps maximize the allicin content of this wonderful herb."


Packed with flavonoids, citrus fruits increase immune system activation and provide high amounts of vitamin C.

Lean Meats

Lean meats contain a high amount of protein, which is crucial for keeping the body strong and regulating immune health.


Neither vegetables nor fruits, mushrooms are classified as a type of fungus. If you think fungus sounds like something you shouldn't ingest when you're feeling ill, think again.  Mushrooms contain loads of selenium and betaglucan. And, according to Life Extension Magazine, "[Betaglucan] battle[s] with bacteria resistant to antibiotic treatment and viruses that cause upper respiratory infections."


Packed with selenium, zinc, and protein, nuts are an ideal snack to boost immune health and keep the body strong.


Just as grapefruit is packed with flavonoids, oranges are a powerful source of vitamins and contain a substantial amount of immune-boosting properties, most accessible in the soft white skin of the citrus.


This fresh-water fish is loaded with omegas, vitamin B6, and vitamin B12. Just one servings provides a substantial amount of lean protein.


Spinach is high in vitamins and minerals including magnesium, folate, iron, and calcium. Its dark green leaves' immune-boosting properties are most bioavailable — and therefore most effective as fighting the flu — when lightly steamed or sautéed.


Just like cruciferous vegetables, watermelon contains a large amount of glutathione. According to WebMD, "This powerful antioxidant is most plentiful in the red, pulpy area of the watermelon near the rind."