An Apple a Day Keeps the Doctor Away, Right? Well, sort of.
It happens every season, you do all the right things, from frequent hand washing to opening doors with your shirt sleeve, to avoiding anyone who looks even remotely sick; and yet you and your family get zapped by those pesky little colds and flu bugs.
I have some good news for you! When it comes to pumping up your immune system for cold and flu season, there are more than a few foods that are rock stars in this arena. You can build your families immunities right in your very own kitchen just by adding these 10 immune building foods to your arsenal.
1. Sweet Potatoes– Anthocyanin and other color-related pigments in the sweet potato are equally valuable for their anti-inflammatory health benefits. Scientists have found that these tubers play a key role in the reduction in inflammation-related health problems, including respiratory infections. Sweet potatoes are chart toppers in beta carotene, which protects against damaging free radicals. Further, beta carotene converts to vitamin A which is one of the key components of healthy skin. Keep in mind that your skin is part of your immune system; it is your first line of defense. Last but by no means least, these little sweeties help your body develop resistance to infection when regularly consumed.
2. Mushrooms– According to a recent article by Dr. Mercola-“Most people don’t realize that 80 percent of your immune system lies in your gastrointestinal tract. If you want to help support your immune system, you must support your digestion.
Mushrooms are considered a fungus. Many eastern cultures recognize mushrooms for their health promoting attributes. Many varieties of mushrooms are thought to support to the immune function and your body’s normal detoxification process.
3. Barley- is one of the whole grains I wholeheartedly recommend adding to your diet. A study by the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition suggests that the high amount of fiber in barley is useful in lower bad cholesterol. When eaten on a regular basis, barley not only boost immunity, but can also speed up wound recovery and help antibiotics work better. A cup of cooked barley provides more than ½ the daily value of selenium. Selenium has proven to have cancer-slowing effects, and in combination with Vitamins A & E, makes chemotherapy during cancer less toxic. Evidence from animal and human studies indicates that vitamin E plays an important role in the maintenance of the immune system. As far as vitamin A goes, experts have long known that vitamin A plays a role in infection. Vitamin A deficiency is associated with impaired immunity and increased risk of infectious disease. Here is a heavenly way to enjoy barley and mushrooms in a deliciously simple pilaf
4. Coconut milk– contains lauric acid, antimicrobial lipids and capric acid, which have antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral properties. According to a study led by Dr. Gilda Sapphire Erguiza, a pediatric pulmonologist children with pneumonia who were treated with antibiotics and coconut oil benefited more than those taking the antibiotic alone. Try this recipe
5. Green Beans- contain immunity-boosting phytonutrients including vitamin C and carotenoids. According to Dr. William Sears, “phytonutrients may increase the body’s production of infection-fighting white blood cells and interferon, an antibody that coats cell surfaces, blocking out viruses”. Click to see my favorite salad featuring yummy green beans.
6. Mangoes– are packed with vitamin A, C, and 25 different carotenoids that help boost the immune system. Want clearer skin and improved eye health? Mangoes are a great resource and so very versatile. Try this mango salsa for a fresh take on citrus sides.
7. Ginger- Ginger comes to the rescue when the sniffles show up and is known to sooth a sore throat. Did you know that ginger also zaps those nasty flu viruses? Ginger is also a natural way to relieve pain and reduce fever. Try it in your next marinade; take a peek at this recipe.
8. Raw apple cider vinegar- supports a healthy Immune in so many ways. Raw unpasteurized apple cider vinegar has what is referred to as “the mother” in it. Like most mothers, it has a lot of fabulous qualities :>), including having antibacterial and anti-fungal properties. It soothes a dry throat like no one’s business and can help to lessen sinus infections.
9. Garlic contains- both allicin and sulfides which are infection fighting compounds. Garlic stimulates the production of white blood cells that fight infection, and it can also help to eliminate toxic free radicals from the bloodstream.
Just in case you are still scratching your head thinking but what are antioxidants? Here is a quick refresher. Antioxidants are vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients that protect and repair cells from damage caused by free radicals. Many experts believe this damage plays a part in a number of chronic diseases, including hardening of the arteries (atherosclerosis), cancer, and arthritis. Free radicals can also interfere with your immune system. So, fighting off damage with antioxidants helps keep your immune system strong, making you better able to ward off colds, flu, and other infections.
Everything about My Sage Gourmet is intended to nurture and support you to thrive in every sense of the word. From the Kitchen Coaching, and my artisan kitchen blends to Nutrition Consulting, and the Tone and Sculpt Yoga and weight loss programs, My Sage Gourmet is here to support you!
As a Nutrition Consultant, I help men and women reconnect with their essential selves-the ground zero of who they are. No more putting their physical health and emotional well being on the back burner. As the mind shifts, eating becomes intuitive; movement becomes more gratifying as the body responds to the shift in perspective. Life becomes more joyful and bright!
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