As the cold and flu season continues on this winter, what you eat can very important to boost your immunity. Getting sick definitely takes a toll on your physical health but can also affect your mental health. According to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), studies have confirmed that mental health and physical health are inextricably linked. What affects one, is bound to have an impact on the other.
To get the nutrients your body needs, think of your diet as a rainbow
said Dr. Eddie Fatakhov, a physician and nutritionist at the Center for Internal and Integrative Medicine in Alpharetta, Georgia.
How can it affect your mental health?
One of the most common ways getting the flu can affect your mental state is by ‘brain fog’. Brain fog is used to describe mental fatigue; it affects your ability to think, you feel disorganized and find it difficult to stay focused.
There are a lot of uncolorful foods that can benefit your health. Foods and spices like garlic, turmeric and ginger can all have a positive impact on your immunity. But generally, the more color in the food, the higher in nutrients.
Red, Orange and Yellow
Usually these foods are high in vitamin C. Foods like carrots, sweet potatoes, bell peppers, oranges, peaches or pineapple to name a few are generally higher in vitamin C.
“Anything that is orange or yellow tends to have a lot of vitamin C in there,” said Dr. Eddie Fatakhov “Vitamin C will help the immune system.”
Leafy greens, arugula, broccoli, brussel sprouts, kale, cabbage, and collard greens are great for packing a good dose of vitamin D. Not only are they a good source of vitamin D, but they may work to improve memory and promote a healthy brain.
A study published in Neurology, found a strong relationship between cognitive function and seniors who eat daily helpings for leafy greens. In fact, the participants who tended to eat the most green vegetables a day showed a slower decline in cognitive function than those who tended to consume little to no greens.
Blue, Indigo and Violet
Beets, cabbage, figs, blueberries, or blackberries to name a few are all high in antioxidants. In fact, the darker the food the higher the antioxidant level. Antioxidants are crucial to maintaining the immune system. Antioxidants work to fight inflammation and disease, they keep the body ‘clean’ and looking young.