It’s that time of year– cold and flu season is here! Help protect yourself by eating right with the following foods:
Broccoli is exploding with Vitamin C, a nutrient that protects against immune system deficiencies. In fact, cruciferous vegetables, like broccoli, contain food chemicals that ensure white blood cells function at peak performance to fight infection. Did you know that one cup of this crunchy veggie contains more Vitamin C than an orange? And, as an added bonus, broccoli is rich in calcium and packed with fiber. Try our ginger shrimp and broccoli recipe to reap all of this vegetable’s wonderful benefits.
Research shows that blueberries have the highest levels of disease-fighting antioxidants of all commonly consumed fruit. These tiny berries also contain quercetin, a flavonoid that acts like an antihistamine and anti-inflammatory, and may protect against heart disease and cancer. Researchers speculate that quercetin’s anti-histamine effect may help to reduce symptoms associated with allergies, including a runny nose and watery eyes. Sprinkle some blues on your yogurt, blend into a smoothie, or enjoy this superfood straight from the fridge!
This omega-3 rich fish not only helps reduce the risk of heart disease, but also encourages the production and movement of lymphocyte cells, which help to bolster immune response. Salmon is also a rich source Vitamin D, which has been found to protect against respiratory infections. Check out this amazing Alaska Salmon with Asian Glaze for your next meal.
This starchy vegetable is bursting with beta–carotene for luscious locks and radiant skin. When we eat sweet potatoes, our body converts beta-carotene to Vitamin A, an essential nutrient for maintaining a strong immune system. Vitamin A also keeps the mucous membranes that line our nose and throat healthy and functioning. My favorite way to prepare this root vegetable is to peel and slice into ½ inch strips, then place on a baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with cinnamon, and bake at 400 degrees for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown. Turn potatoes over and bake another 15-20 minutes.
Yogurt contains live and active cultures, which replenishes our immune system with healthy bacteria. Having just 1 cup of calcium-rich yogurt provides nearly 20% of the adult daily requirement for zinc, an essential mineral for healthy immune function. Start your morning with a cup of Greek yogurt—it’s packed with hunger squashing protein for energy. And, be sure to check out our top 10 ways to enjoy Greek yogurt!
Remember that in addition to eating these five foods, it is important to stay hydrated and get plenty of rest. Here’s to a happy and healthy winter season!