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Even without COVID-19, right now is the naturally occurring cold and flu season. While there’s a formula for staying healthy, nutritionists say these 10 snacks contain nutrients shown to help support the immune system and possibly reduce the duration or severity of flu symptoms:

  1. Raisins – Naturally sweet, raisins can satisfy a sweet tooth and provide potassium and fiber—nutrients associated with improved immune function. Sprinkle on a little cinnamon for an extra boost of antioxidants.
  2. Baked Sweet Potato – Tasty, tummy-warming and high in vitamins A and C, as well as antioxidants, a medium-sized baked sweet potato as an afternoon snack will keep you satisfied until dinner time for only the small price of about 100 calories.
  3. Bell Pepper With Hummus – Bell peppers provides a boost of vitamin C —and the hummus adds gut-friendly fiber to support the immune system.
  4. Fortified Cereal – It’s not just for breakfast. Whole grains fortified with zinc, iron, vitamin D and folate supply 100 percent of daily iron needs and 15 to 20 percent of daily zinc, vitamin D and folate needs. 
  5. Sliced Apples and Peanut ButterEat the skins, which contain quercetin, a plant compound that helps reduce infection risk. Peanut butter is packed with protein, which the body uses to help fight off germs.
  6. Ginger Tea – A warming pick-me-up, tea contains polyphenols and flavonoids, antioxidants which may help keep your immune system strong. Grate in some ginger for anti-inflammatory and immune-boosting properties to help fight infections. 
  7. Sardine Toast – Sardines are rich in zinc, which boosts the production of immune cells, omega-3 fatty acids (which are associated with heart health) and vitamin D to help fight infection. Try mixing crushed sardines with a little lemon juice, olive oil and chopped onion, then spread it on toasted whole grain bread.
  8. Beef Jerky – This popular snack is very rich in zinc, which has been shown to support the immune system by fighting inflammation.
  9. OJ Smoothie – Using fortified orange juice will give your smoothie a healthy boost of vitamins C and D. 
  10. Chocolate-Covered Strawberries – Eight strawberries contain almost 100 percent of the daily value of vitamin C and fiber. The chocolate coating? Because chocolate is delish—and you deserve it!