One of the best ways to stay healthy and boost your immune system, is to eat right, especially during cold weather when flu is so prevalent. In Hong Kong and Southeast Asia, we have plenty of fresh seafood, meat, fruits and vegetables in the markets and shops to choose from, so where do we start? Here are nine foods to include in your diet during flu season. 1. Seafood Registered dietitian Novella Lui says eating seafood helps protect your immune system and prevent cell damage. What airlines are doing to stop coronavirus from spreading “Shellfish such as oysters, shrimps and crabs are known for their good source of selenium, a mineral and an antioxidant that may help with maintaining a healthy immune system, preventing cell damage and preventing chronic diseases such as heart disease and cancer. In addition to oysters, selenium can be found in beef, salmon, sardines, mackerel, herring, trout and tuna. 2. Other food featuring selenium View this post on Instagram BRAZIL NUTS EATING 2 A DAY WILL KEEP THE DOCTOR AWAY⚕️ • #vegan #nuts #healthyfats #feedgood #feedyourglow #positive #snack #snackidea #highfat #lowcarb #brazilnut #glutenfree #lactosefree #guiltfree #foodie #inspiration #healthy #healthyfood A post shared by P O S I T I V E • F O O D I E (@positive.foodie) on Jan 26, 2020 at 4:16am PST Some plant-based sources such as couscous, Brazil nuts, chia seeds and sunflower seeds also contain selenium The amount of selenium in food varied; 75 grams of oysters contain 116mcg of selenium while a quarter of a cup (60ml) of Brazil nuts consists of 681mcg of selenium. “That being said, adults are recommended to have 55mcg of selenium per day, without exceeding a total of 400mcg per day from a combination of foods and/or supplements,” says Lui. 3. Chicken Chicken is an excellent source of protein, iron, zinc and B vitamins. Lui says that Zinc is especially important in strengthening the immune system and helping the body fight viruses. 4. Vegetables and fruits containing Vitamin C Vitamin C is another essential nutrient for maintaining a healthy immune system. For physiological requirements, adult men require 90mg of vitamin C per day. Women need 75mg. Lui explains that adult men who eat one cup (250ml) of strawberries or women who consume one medium kiwi would meet their daily requirement. Coronavirus: which celebrities are donating money to fight the deadly disease? Realistically you should eat more than the physiologically-required amount. Many vegetables and fruit provide vitamin C. These include broccoli, kale, bok choy, gai lan, tomatoes, sweet peppers, kiwis, citrus fruits, strawberries and blueberries. 5. Ginger Gianna Buonocore, a Hong Kong-registered Traditional Chinese Medicine practitioner and acupuncturist, advocates the use of ginger, which has a pungent flavour, as it promotes the circulation of energy (qi), warms the body and prepares it for a fight. 6. Astragalus View this post on Instagram Huang Qi :: Astragalus :: This is one of the most important adaptogens in Chinese Medicine. It’s used to tonify qi and is known for boosting the immune system. Astragalus is appropriate for preventing colds and respiratory infections, if taken once you are already sick it can strengthen the pathogen and prolong the condition. Astragalus also improves digestion, increases energy levels, and reduces fatigue. . . I like to use astragalus in combination with other herbs and add to porridges, soups, and bone broth. It’s a way to level up everyday food as medicine. The Immunity Broth Herbs are popular this season, purchase online or pick some up next time you’re at Luminae Wellness. A post shared by Luminae Wellness (@luminaewellness) on Oct 21, 2019 at 12:59pm PDT This root is a herb that acts on the lung system, it is sweet and warm, strengthens energy (qi), boosts vitality, promotes appetite. Buonocore says it can be added to vegetable and chicken soups. 7. Garlic In TCM, it has a pungent flavour and acts on the lung system to scatter and move qi, again to prepare the body to fight, says Buonocore. Sorry, vegans, ‘charcuterie influencers’ are a thing now 8. Ling zhi or Reishi mushroom View this post on Instagram Just wanted to show off the beautiful ritchness of colour in these reishi mushrooms. Our reishi mushroom strain is native to Australia and grown in Australia by us. It doesn't get more Aussie than that! #medicinalmushrooms #Aussie #aussiegrown #sustainable #ethicalygrown #supportaustralia #localproduce #foodasmedicine #mycology #gippsland #reishi #polypore A post shared by Natura Mushrooms (@naturamushrooms) on Feb 5, 2020 at 8:05pm PST The Ling zhi, or reishi mushroom, is bland and warm in nature, it improves lung function, helps promote energy (boosts white blood cells), boosts the immune system and is believed to inhibit the growth of bacteria and viruses, says Buonocore. 9. Andrographis This root is a bitter and cold herb (known as the king of bitters), and is best in tablet form. It is not only good to boost the immune system but in a higher dose it can inhibit bacteria and viruses. It helps reduce fever and detoxify the body. It is strong in action, says Buonocore. People are also advised during flu season to ensure they have enough sleep and exercise regularly. Want more stories like this? Sign up here . 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