MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - Oct. 23 through the 29 is National Flu Prevention Week, a week to promote ways to avoid getting the flu this season.
The best protection against the flu is the vaccine, according to officials. Doctors with American Family Care also recommends adding five flu-fighting foods to the grocery list:
GARLIC: Garlic contains allicin, a compound that is known to boost immunity. You can either crush, slice or chew garlic for it to produce properties that can build up immunity to viruses that cause the common cold or flu.
CHICKEN SOUP: For years, mothers around the world have put a bowl of chicken soup in front of their sick children. A study published in the American Journal of Therapeutics supports the maternal instinct to, 'feed a cold'. The research found most chicken soup recipes include a compound called carnosine, which can mobilize the immune system to fight the early stages of flu. Just watch sodium content of soup, too much salt can cause dehydration.
FISH: Fresh salmon, tuna even trout are solid choices to get a beneficial dose of Omega-3 fatty acids. A study by researchers at Michigan State University found Omega-3's can increase the activity of white blood cells that fight flu by eating bacteria. It's a good idea to eat two to three times a week during cold and flu season.
WHOLE GRAINS: Whole grains are good for your gut during flu season. Why? They contain brown rice, oats, and buckwheat which help build healthy bacteria in your stomach, plus whole grains are loaded with zinc, an immune system booster.
FRUITS AND VEGGIES: A substance found in a wide variety of fruits and vegetables, including red onions, grapes, and broccoli, was found to reduce the likelihood of flu in mice in a study published by The American Physiological Society. Quercetin has shown to have anti-viral properties in other studies, as well.
Doctors also recommend washing hands on a regular basis to stay healthy and stay away from others who are sick.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend getting the shot this year, not the nasal spray. Doctors say the vaccine has not proven to be effective in the nasal spray.