Eat Protein, Fight Cold and Flu Season

Adding a protein boost to your diet may keep you healthy this flu season.

Cottage Cheese. Credit: Shutterstock
Cottage Cheese. Credit: Shutterstock
Written by Julia Halewicz

We've all heard that vitamin C may help shorten the length of a cold, but did you know protein helps build a healthy immune system?

Protein is a big player in our bodies' health and function, doing everything from helping us walk to reading our DNA. When an infection enters the body, proteins called antibodies go to battle. That means when you have chicken with your salad at lunch, you're feeding your body the nutrients it needs to build more proteins that help you stay healthy.

With the holiday season coming up and stress levels on the rise (another immunity sapper), incorporate protein into your diet as one way to help protect against colds and flu.

Here are eight easy ways to incorporate protein into your diet and help stave off the sniffles. 

Cottage Cheese: Cottage cheese makes the list of excellent sources of protein. Eat it on its own, add some fruit or veggies, or treat it like spread. You can add herbs and some lemon juice to pump up the flavor.

Quinoa Salad: Quinoa is a whole grain rich in protein. Adaptable to most flavors, you can toss it with corn, bell pepper and peas, serve it with red sauce for an Italian spin, or go Meditteranean by adding Greek olives and feta.

Beans: Beans are an excellent source of protein and can be prepared in soups, as salad toppers, or whipped into dips.

Yogurt Shakes: Greek yogurt is known for its protein content and shakes are easy to whip up at home as long as you have a blender. Add milk and ice to cut the texture along with honey and berries for a protein-packed kick start to your day. 

Tuna Fish: Americans have a reputation for not eating enough fish, which is a great source of protein. Tuna fish is an easy addition to any diet with its versatility a major bonus. Enjoy it as a wrap with melted cheese, toss it with pasta, or add it to your salad.

Eggs: Eggs may have earned a bad reputation because of their link to cholesterol, but conventional wisdom is shifting in favor of this protein-rich food, which packs most of its nutrients in the yolk. 

Peanut Butter with Apples: Peanut butter can feel so indulgent, but it's also a great nutritional resource. However you like it, chunky or creamy, this protein-rich spread goes perfectly with apples. 

Pumpkin Seeds: Put leftover Halloween pumpkins to use—remove the pumpkin seeds, lightly drizzle them with olive oil and sprinkle on some salt for a high-protein roasted seed you can add to soups and salads. Or, just snack on them alone. 

This article is part of Mix It Up, an editorial series created in collaboration with AOL's Kitchen Daily and Huffington Post. It is dedicated to making the lives of mothers easier through articles, videos and slideshows focused on simple and creative solutions to everyday challenges. From healthy recipes to exciting ideas for a more balanced lifestyle, this section aims to become a resource for moms everywhere. 


More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something