Now, this is no substitute for the flu shot, but a hot bowl of oatmeal may act as an additional flu fighter. Researchers are finding that cereal is one of many foods loaded with a supplement that may protect you from the aching joints associated with the flu and aging. At the University of North Carolina, they've found that low levels of the nutrient selenium can allow the flu virus to mutate into a more dangerous form.
"Take a benign flu virus that would cause mild disease in a mouse put it in a mouse that is selenium deficient now it becomes a nasty virus," says Melinda Beck Ph.D and researcher.
Selenium is found in a variety of foods. It's a mineral that has been shown to help protect cells from damage. A second study at UNC followed a thousand people and determined that Selenium may also play a role in in preventing the ache of arthritis. In both studies, researchers say while it is unlikely this single nutrient can cause or cure achy joints or winter ills, it underscores the importance of eating a balanced diet. Selenium is found in plant foods, brazil nuts and whole grain cereals, as well as in some meats and seafood, but it's only required only in small amounts what you would get in a normal diet, because too much can be toxic.