Food (& Recipes) to Rev Up Your Immune System!

It has never been more important to keep your family healthy than it is right now. You’re wearing a mask, you’ve taken your kids for their flu shots, and you’ve stocked up on antibacterial soap and Purel. But, is the food they are eating also helping to prevent the illnesses so prevalent at this time of year? Providing your family with foods known to boost the immune system will go a long way. Increase foods rich in antioxidants. Foods with high levels of beta-carotene, vitamin C and vitamin E.

Here are some foods (& recipes) to rev up your immune system:

• Broccoli: Broccoli & Cauliflower with lemon and chives

Toss rainbow carrots with olive oil and kosher salt and roast them!

• Carrots: Roasted Rainbow Carrots

• Corn: Corn Basil Salad or Cabbage Corn Slaw

• Peaches: Peach, Proscuitto & Arugula SaladRustic Peach Tart

• Sweet potato: Sweet Potato fries, Chipotle Mashed Sweet Potatoes

• Tomatoes: Stacked Tomato SaladTomato Corn Pie Dreamy Creamy Tomato Soup

Kale, Mango & Quinoa Bowl

• Mango: Mango, Kale & Quinoa SaladFish Tacos with Mango Salsa

• Peppers: Three Pepper RisottoHearty Pepper, Potato & Sausage Roast

• Berries: Make a Berry Smoothie, a Berry Breakfast Bowl. Would a Berry Mojito count?

One-Skillet Mediterranean Chicken with Spinach.

• Spinach: Make a Berry Smoothie

Avocado & Greek Yogurt Crackers

• Yogurt is a great source of probiotics.
Try snacking on Avocado & Greek Yogurt CrackersYogurt Granola Parfaits, or Banana Yogurt Smoothie.

• Garlic: Studies show garlic is great at fighting off the common cold.
Try our Rustic Tomato Garlic Soup

Food & Wine’s Skirt Steak with Poblanos

Zinc and selenium are also known to aid in immune health. They can be found in:
• Red Meat: Steak Salad or Grilled Steak with Poblanos
• Poultry: One Skillet Mediterranean Chicken, Avocado & Chicken Salad
• Fortified Cereals and Breads: Try Ezekiel Bread
• Shellfish: First read Why shrimp is good for you then try Shrimp Scampi Bake or Cajun Shrimp Fettucine.

Try our hummus and veggie sandwich.

 

8 More Tips to Rev Up Your Immune System:
• Serve veggies raw.
 Keep them on hand at all times. When kids are hungry, they will grab what is accessible. Raw vegetables provide more nutrients than cooked ones.

• Offer a variety of food. Variety ensures your kids are getting all the vitamins they need and will help to develop their palate, so they enjoy a lifetime of healthy eating.

• Cut down on sugary snacks and eliminate sugary drinks. Sugar can decrease the body’s ability to fight off infection. Try to reserve treats for special occasions.

• It is o.k. to doctor vegetables with butter or cheese once in a while. While this may not be the healthiest way to ingest produce, it will allow a picky eater to get their daily dose and will get them used to the taste and texture.

• Increase water intake. Just because they are not out in the hot sun anymore, doesn’t mean they can’t dehydrate. Ensure your kids get enough water every day by encouraging them to have an 8 ounce glass first thing in the morning and before each meal or snack. Keep a pitched of fruit-infused water on your counter.

• Make sure they are getting enough sleep. (Find out how much sleep kids need.)

• Regular exercise is important to maintaining a healthy immune system.

• Be in tune to your child’s stress levels. Even young children can suffer from stress, which can decrease the effectiveness of their immune system.

Speaking of stress, having a child sick with the flu or a stomach bug during the next couple of months will cause your stress level to shoot sky-high. Prevention is key for a healthier, happier holiday season. Encouraging smart habits now is an early holiday gift for your whole family.

Originally posted in 2019


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Author: Karen Latimer

Karen is a Family Doctor, mom of five and founder of Tips From Town.

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