5 Immunity Boosting Everyday Foods
In 2020, a year turned upside down, we need all the strength we can get. So it makes sense to pay extra attention during the winter months to stay as healthy as possible. While there are many healing foods and supplements for immune support to choose from, here are a few of my faves:
Vitamin D This critical nutrient enables the immune system to fight off invading bacteria and viruses. It’s hard to meet your vitamin D requirements without supplements, which you can find drug store or supermarket. Fortified foods provide most of the vitamin D in American diets, but many of those foods (like cereal) are highly processed, so supplements are often a good way to go. Alternatively, you can absorb vitamin d from the sun. However since older adults are less readily able to process vitamin D and are most often deficient, an extra boost is the way to go.
Probiotics are microorganisms that resemble the beneficial bacteria which occur naturally in the human gut. Known as “good bacteria” probiotics are used to alleviate and prevent illness, especially issues associated with the digestive tract. Clinical trials have demonstrated that taking probiotics may decrease the incidence of respiratory tract infections. Available in tablet form in the refrigerated section of most health food stores, use probiotics during cold and flu season to build your immunity and help you to ward off sickness.
Ginger Tea With a multitude of health benefits behind it, ginger is a go-to herb during cold and flu season. According to a 2012 study published in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology, fresh ginger prevents human respiratory virus from infecting cells in the upper respiratory tract, while stimulating cells to secrete a protective anti-viral protein. Ginger also hinders mucous production and helps to relieve congestion. Grate some fresh ginger into a cup of hot water, add some lemon juice and honey for a simple wellness tonic.
Chia If you haven’t tried chia seeds, you’re in for a treat. These tiny seeds contain more omega 3s than salmon, more antioxidants than blueberries, plus ample calcium, fiber and protein (4 grams in just 2 tbsps). For women of a certain age, this is a very good thing.
Relatively low in calories for all of the amazing nutrients they deliver, chia seeds are naturally gelatinous in water, so blended with anti-oxidant-rich berries and oranges loaded with vitamin C, this delicious breakfast pudding will give you a boost to last all morning long.
Carrots Raw, cooked, juiced or souped, carrots are loaded with Vitamin C, Beta Carotene and antioxidants, a potent combination for healing. A Happy Planet Diet favorite, Simple Savory Carrot Soup is delicious sprinkled with sunflower seeds for extra crunch and protein. This lively soup is a wellness bonanza, with ginger and spices that both enhance the flavor and give your immune system an extra boost.
While diet is key to health and wellness, it’s one piece of the bigger picture. This season especially it’s important to cover all of your bases. Stress reduction, exercise and socially distant social support are critical factors as well. So, challenging as it feels right now, be sure to stay safe, get plenty of rest, and take extra good care of you.
Stay tuned for the December release of Happy Planet Diet; Plant-based-diet
on a budget, with 80+ deliciously easy recipes you’ll fall in love with. So
excited to share it with you!