Cooler days and crisp evenings signal the advent of autumn. Unfortunately, they also signal the beginning of the cold and flu season. To give your body a fighting chance against infection during seasonal weather changes, concentrate on preparing meals with food chock filled with vitamins and minerals that are known to boost your immune system.
Some approaches, like the Mediterranean diet, may better prepare the body to fight infection, because they’re rich in vitamins that help our immune cells to grow and work to beat infections ,” according to Harvard’s public health school. “Examples of nutrients that have been identified as critical for the growth and function of immune cells include vitamin C, vitamin D, zinc, selenium, iron, and protein,” the Harvard experts write
To ensure your immune system has the supportive nutrients it needs, pile your plate high with colorful vegetables, like carrots, bell peppers or dark, leafy greens. They are loaded with vitamin A and C and rich sources of antioxidants. If vegetables aren't your favorite, try adding citrus fruit or strawberries to your diet as an alternative source of vitamin C. For a delicious serving of vitamin A, have some cantaloupe, apricots or mangos in a breakfast smoothie. A simple way to add vitamin E to your diet is to snack on almonds, hazelnuts, peanuts and sunflower seeds. Include salmon or sardines in your weekly meal rotation to make sure you are getting some vitamin D or make a habit of using products fortified with vitamin D like milk, juice and cereal.
There are lots of foods that contain the immune boosting minerals iron, zinc and selenium. Get your iron in leafy green vegetables like spinach and kale as well as beef, lentils and tofu. For selenium and zinc, prepare meals with seafood, lean meats, poultry, oysters, yogurt or chickpeas.
Another idea for boosting your health everyday is to supplement your diet with psyllium husk. Derived from the seeds of the Plantago Ovata plant, psyllium promotes digestion health by maintaining regularity and by supporting the growth of good bacteria in the digestive system. According to Heathline, “good bacteria in the digestive system is essential for healthy immune function.” In addition to digestive health, psyllium is also thought to contribute to heart health, improve glucose control and help with weight management.
Immune Boosting Recipes
-For a refreshing start to your day, mix up a glass of Spinach and Mint Juice. Courtesy of tarladala.com.
-Try vegetarian protein bars for a healthy snack or add these delicious Keto Broccoli Fitters to a meal. Both courtesy of cookpad.
-Looking for a new twist on chicken salad, try this recipe from The Honour System