Flu-fighting foods that boost immunity

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CINCINNATI - Flu season is upon us.  If you want to add some extra protection for your family, experts advise you stock up on these immunity boosting foods.

Broccoli- Rich in vitamin C, which acts as a cell-protecting antioxidant and immune booster. The leafy vegetable may help prevent the onset of the cold and flu thanks to its abundance of nutrients.

Blueberries- Rich in antioxidants and disease-fighting nutrients, experts say these can improve cognitive function and reduce the risk of heart disease, cancer and type 2 diabetes.

Sunflower seeds - Full of vitamin E, magnesium and selenium, these powerful seeds have a significant anti-inflammatory effect on the body. Magnesium promotes healthy bones and energy and some studies show that selenium reduces the risk of some types of cancer.

Whole Grain Cereals- Whole grain is full of zinc, a vitamin that supports a healthy immune system.  Research shows that whole grains also have heart-healthy benefits that help maintain a healthy body weight and blood sugar levels.

Salmon- Filled with omega-3 fatty acids, salmon boosts immune system function. Along with the healthy fats, it is also one of the highest natural sources of vitamin D.

Low-fat Yogurt-  Fermented dairy products contain "probiotics," bacteria that help the body fight off infections. The calcium-rich snack also reduces digestive tract problems, vaginal infections and stomach ulcers. It also encourages bone growth.

Green Tea- Rich in polyphenols, green tea is full of antioxidants that help boost immune function. The leaves have also been associated with decreasing risk of cancer, obesity and heart disease

This list was compiled by ABC News.

Copyright 2012 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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