By Edith Clogg, RD

Foods That Fight Back

It’s no joke that there are a lot of things we need to focus on to be at our best: adequate sleep, beneficial movement, and eating well to help us fight disease, infection, and be at our best every day.

While there is no food or supplement that guarantees prevention from the cold and flu or will prevent most diseases, there are some foods, as well as healthy habits, that help boost your body’s defenses.

What Cant Yogurt Do?

From digestion to decreasing systemic inflammation to immune-boosting power, yogurt is quite the multi-tasker. The probiotics in yogurt have shown to support digestive health and promote good bacteria in the gut, which more and more is thought to be crucial to better overall health.  For maximum benefit, choose a less- or non-sweetened variety.

Yogurt Granola Berry Parfait
Citrus Oranges Grapefruit Lime Kumquat Mandarin Lemon

Squeeze in Citrus

Though the jury is still out on whether vitamin C helps prevent or shorten the common cold, it’s still thought to be an important antioxidant that supports better immune function. And studies have clearly shown that higher intakes of vitamin C can reduce the risk of developing more serious complications from cold viruses.

Citrus fruits aren’t the only way to get vitamin C, but they’re an easy and delicious source of the nutrient and happen to be at peak ripeness during winter months. So instead of popping vitamin supplements, work some extra citrus fruits into your diet.

Oranges make great snacks and are great squeezed in water, lemons and limes are a great base for dressings, and grapefruit shines in simple salads.

Food Fighters

Fortunately, you don’t need exotic or expensive fruits and vegetables to get your body in disease-fighting shape. Broccoli, tomatoes, spinach, and blueberries are readily available and are great antioxidant powerhouses with phytochemicals that boost cancer-fighting, protect against aging, and help your vision.

Probiotic Nutrition

Grilled Stone Fruit Salad

Makes 6-8 Servings


2 each of firm ripe peaches, plums, and apricots; halved, pits removed
2 Tbsp butter, melted
¼ cup olive oil
2 Tbsp honey
2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
5 oz baby arugula
4 oz crumbled feta cheese
¼ cup chopped roasted, salted almonds

Nectarines and Grapes


  • Heat gas or charcoal grill. Brush cut sides of fruit with butter. Place fruit cut sides down on grill over medium heat, cover, and cook 2-3 minutes or until grill marks form; turn 90°F, and cook additional 2-3 minutes longer.
  • Transfer fruit to cutting board; let cool 5 minutes and cut fruit into wedges.
  • In a large bowl, beat oil, honey, lemon juice, salt and pepper with whisk. Pour ¼ cup of vinaigrette into a bowl with grilled fruit and lightly toss. Add arugula to large bowl of remaining vinaigrette; toss to coat. Transfer to serving platter. Top arugula mixture with grilled fruit, cheese and almonds.

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