It’s still cold and flu season

Courtesy Photo

By Taylor Sutton, MS, RDN, LD

United Supermarket Dietitian

Did you know that the highest rates of cold and flu tests are actually in February? Well, now that you know it’s time to take action. There are so many things you can do and as a dietitian, there are some foods you can use to better support your immune system to keep yourself well.

Probiotics are powerhouses. We’ve heard of this one time and time again to create a healthy gut since the majority of our immune system lives there. While supplements can have a role, whole food sources like kimchi, sauerkraut, miso, tempeh, yogurt, kefir, cottage cheese, pickles, and sourdough will be better absorbed.

Zinc helps regulate the immune system and maintain the integrity of the skin which is one of the first lines of defense against infection. If there isn’t enough in the system it can delay wound healing and suppress the immune system from functioning properly. A few foods like eggs, beef, poultry, oysters, shrimp, milk, nuts, whole grains, and beans are good sources of this nutrient. A few studies show that zinc supplementation can help reduce the duration and severity of common colds in healthy individuals.

Vitamin C consumption and supplementation is hit and miss. The bottom line is that supplementation won’t hurt you but it might help. While citrus foods take the cake on this one, other foods like bell peppers, strawberries and kiwis are also good sources of this vitamin. When looking for a supplement look for 250mg at one time as that is what is absorbed. Anything higher and it may be excreted.

Beta Glucans from fungi and yeast support immune system function. This nutrient can easily be found in mushrooms and brewers yeast. You can find mushrooms in the fresh, frozen, canned and living well section of our stores easily.

Elderberry supplementation may help support the immune system and help ease cold and flu symptoms. It is rich in antioxidants and vitamins. Some cultures have considered it to be one of the world’s oldest and most healing plants.

Outside of these specific nutrients found in foods, make sure you are getting plenty of fluids, regular physical activity, 7-9 hours of quality sleep, and maintaining your current weight.

Easy Beef Tenderloin


1 lb Beef Tenderloin

1/4 c. Pistachios

1/4 c. Fresh Rosemary

1 tsp. Freshly Ground Black Pepper

1 Tbsp. Olive Oil

1 tsp. Dijon Mustard

1 Tbsp. Lemon juice

1 Tbsp. Honey


1. Preheat oven to 425.

2. In a small blender, pulse the pistachios until a powder forms.

3. Mince rosemary.

4. In a bowl mix together the pistachio crumbs, rosemary, pepper, olive oil, dijon mustard, lemon juice and honey into a paste like consistency.

5. Pat and spread over beef tenderloin.

6. Place in cast iron skillet for 25-30 minutes (testing for desired doneness at the 35, 40, and 45 minute marker – the longer if goes the more “well-done” it will become) with 135 being medium rare.

7. Transfer tenderloin to cutting board and tent with foil to rest for 10 minutes.

8. Slice and enjoy.