4 Foods that Beat Bully Bulge and Fight the Flu

As a mom of twin girls, I’m particularly conscious during flu season to make sure we all continue to eat healthy while staying healthy. So this week at the grocery store, I’ll be picking up plenty of oranges for a hearty dose of vitamin C. But there are other staples that can serve double duty as virus repellers and fat releasers. Best of all? They’re all diet-friendly, so you won't put on extra weight while staying well. 

1.   Apple Cider Vinegar

Research shows that apple cider vinegar, available at most local grocery stores, may also help you steer clear of post-meal blood sugar spikes. Also, Dr. Brian Clement, co-director of the Hippocrates Health Institute, recommends mixing two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar with 8-12 ounces of water twice a day.  “This soothes the stomach, fights colds and gives an incredible boost of energy,” he says.

2. Garlic and Onions

“Garlic and onion boost cells in the body that destroy infection-causing viruses and bacteria,” Dr. Clement explains. They also are terrific sources of vitamin C, which helps your body stop clinging to fat. My favorite way to use onions this time of year is in Mom’s Chicken Noodle Soup, a great recipe from the Digest Diet Cookbook that's chock-full of potent flu fighters such as carrots, parsnips, and tender chicken thighs—all of which double as fat releasers. 

3. Cayenne Pepper

This intense, fiery spice is one of my go-to fat releasing seasonings. I love sprinkling it on grilled chicken for an added kick, or mixing it into a couscous dish. You can also take 10 drops a day in liquid form to ward off both dangerous belly fat and gross mucus buildup. Dr. Clement adds, “The active ingredient in cayenne is capsaicin, which alleviates congestion and thins the mucus in your nasal passages so you can breathe again.”

4. Dark Chocolate

Do you think berries are best when it comes to antioxidants? Think again. Eating a small amount of cocoa or dark chocolate every day might help fight disease and also battle fat deposits (you know, the places on your body where fat seems to accumulate, like your thighs, hips, or belly.) To get the most immunity benefits, look for labels listing at least 70% cacao. Studies have found that volunteers who ate 3.5 ounces of dark chocolate every day for a week raised their “good” HDL cholesterol by a whopping 9 percent. Now that’s what I call a sugar high!

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