Diabetes Still Isnt Easy: Immune-Boosting Foods to Fight Colds and Flu

ishonest has partnered with the Friedman Diabetes Institute to bring you “Diabetes Still Isn’t Easy,” a blog dedicated to diabetes education and wellness.

Sore throat, runny nose, sneezing, and coughing. Sound familiar? It’s that time of year again. Extreme changes in temperature, lack of sleep and exercise, chaotic holiday schedules, and stress at work can result in a compromised immune system—just as cases of the common cold and flu are on the rise.

We all know what we should be doing to stay healthy and keep our immune systems strong: Exercise regularly, wash hands frequently, get adequate sleep, drink lots of water, and—this is key—eat healthily.

Chicken Noodle Soup

Chicken soup’s healing powers are legendary. The broth provides needed fluids, while the salt helps to keep the nasal passages clear and the mucus thin, just like cough medicine. Not willing to make your own chicken soup? Studies show that commercial soups are just as effective as the homemade kinds.

Citrus Fruits

Citrus fruits are known for their mega-doses of vitamin C, which has immunity- boosting properties, but they offer more than that. Studies show that citrus fruits have more than 8,000 flavonoid compounds, as well as significant amounts of potassium, folic acid, and fiber. They also protect against cardiovascular disease, excessive inflammation, and cancer. Sweet potatoes, butternut squash, tomatoes, broccoli, cauliflower, red bell peppers, and kiwi are also rich in vitamin C.

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Probiotics, also known as “live and active cultures,” are healthy bacteria found in yogurt. Researchers believe they may stimulate your immune system to fight disease. All types of probiotics are beneficial, but the best type is lactobacillus reuteri, which has been shown to stimulate white blood cells. As of now, the only U.S. brand that has this specific strain is Stonyfield Farm. Also look for yogurt that provides vitamin D—there may be a link between low vitamin D levels and increased risk of cold and flu.


People use ginger to treat many ailments. It’s used in digestion, as an anti- inflammatory, and as an immune booster. Ginger helps to break down the buildup of toxins in the organs, which make you vulnerable to infections. Add some fresh ginger and some lemon to hot water for an immune-boosting drink.

These foods can all be incorporated into a healthy diabetic meal plan! Remember that eating well is crucial for good health (mental, physical, and emotional). By staying active and maintaining a healthy weight, you can reduce the frequency of illness and infections.

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