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5 Foods to Fight off Colds

When cold and flu season comes around, add some of these food fighters into your diet to help you ward off a nasty bug.

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A proven common-cold buster, garlic is antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal. Research suggests it helps the body produce infection-fighting white cells and antibodies. Combine with other spicy foods, such as chili, hot mustard and radishes, to wage war on mucus.

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Shiitake Mushrooms

Shiitake mushrooms contain AHCC (active hexose correlated compound), which may increase immune response to the flu virus. They have a meaty texture and add rich flavour to gravy, soups and stir-fries.

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Salmon, Sardines and Mackerel

Wild-caught salmon, sardines and mackerel are an excellent source of vitamin D and omega-3 fats. These oily fish help protect against bacteria and viruses. Try them with lemon juice for an extra dose of infection-fighting vitamin C.

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Sweet Potato

Sweet potato is rich in beta carotene, which converts into vitamin A, helping protect against infections in the respiratory system. Tastes great baked in its skin.

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There are 48 mg of vitamin C in one serving (1 small or large) of grapefruit-plenty for promoting white blood cell production. Eating this bittersweet citrus fruit increases our levels of glutathione, a powerful antioxidant that protects against winter illnesses. Makes a low-sugar, high-fibre dessert or breakfast option.