It starts with a sniffle. Then a fever. Then a certain rumble in your stomach that you know isn't just your body telling you it's time for a snack. The latest illness being passed around has come for you, and it's not going to leave without dragging your health down with it. In recent years, the flu epidemic has been on the rise, with major swaths of the global population affected by the illness. In fact, according to the CDC, influenza kills up to 49,000 people globally each year and sends more than 700,000 people to the hospital.
And while hand sanitizer and flu shots can be somewhat effective, they’re far from a cure-all when cold and flu season is in full swing. Instead of looking to external sources to help keep you healthy, the name of the game is boosting your immune health and fighting illness from the inside out. Foods that feed the beneficial bacteria in your gut and fight inflammation, like fruits and vegetables rich in resistant starch and antioxidants, can help keep you from getting sick and shorten the duration of any illnesses you might catch. When you want to slim down and keep your immune system strong, start by adding these 41 weight loss friendly foods to boost immunity to you menu. And when you want to kick those lingering sickness symptoms to the curb, make sure you're loading up on these 40 Foods That Fight Inflammation.