Registered dietician nutritionist Vicki Shanta Retlny reveals five “real” foods to get her kids through the cold and flu season:

As a mom of two school-aged children, my goal is to tackle flu season head on with a daily dose of immune-boosting foods. Real food can come to your rescue and heal your body, as well as defend it against ailments caused by the common cold and flu.


The first two foods are easy enough; Retlny tells us how they work:

  1. Black and Blueberries — Compounds called anthocyanin, primarily found in the dark blue, purplish pigment of the berry’s skin, are believed to be responsible for their powerful defense against immune-busting invaders. Cold, flu and even normal aging processes may be thwarted by adding berries to your daily diet. Toss blueberries or blackberries into oatmeal, salads or smoothies for an extra immune boost.
  2. Yogurt — A cup of yogurt a day can help keep your immune system strong. Yogurt is made from fermented milk, which contains powerful “friendly bacteria” called probiotics. With an army of 100 trillion colonies of these microscopic bacteria living in our gastrointestinal tract working hard every day to combat the ill-effects of the bad bugs, eating probiotic-rich yogurt can add extra defense. Check the label for “live, active cultures” to denote the presence of these live beneficial bugs. Buy plain yogurt and add your own fruit to avoid a lot of excess sugar and additives.


Read more about how broccoli, mushrooms and almonds round out the top five foods that might help you get your family through the cold and flu season here and visit Retlny’s blog here.