Flu Season is upon us.
I am determined to save my sick days for an actual vacation this year instead of wasting them on days when I feel under the weather. I live by the term nourish to flourish, and that rings ever so true in this these coming months. So many nutrients that are naturally found in foods (not antibiotics) have been shown to boost immunity and keep us feeling and looking our best! Because we tend to feel most confident when we are healthy and happy right?
There’s a reason your mom gave you turkey sandwiches all those years in your lunchbox…turkey is high in zinc, which is shown to make immunity cells more responsive when fighting off germs and illnesses. Up your zinc intake by eating more lean turkey, whole grains, vegetables like kale, broccoli and spinach, low-fat milk and mixed nuts.
I’m all about the Omega-3’s all year round, but especially when the temperature drops! Load up on edamame when you’re out for sushi with friends, snack on walnuts, cook foods in olive and flaxseed oil, and cook salmon for weeknight dinners to get those precious 3’s in! Bonus: they also reduce inflammation and are helpful in preventing disease.
Another great immunity booster is garlic (just make sure to brush your teeth after eating…. ☺ ) just as it can wreck your breath, it does the same to germs! Garlic is known for having antiviral and antibacterial properties, score!
Fruits like papaya and citrus fruits (think oranges, grapefruits, lemons, and limes) and berries are all shown to have infection fighting properties and tons of antibodies that control inflammation. Sneak these in by using in juices, smoothies, tossing on your salads this winter!
Yogurt! This is another great one because you can use it when cooking as well as for a snack or at meal times with some granola or mixed nuts! It is great for immunity because of all of the probiotics it packs. Probiotics are the “good bacteria” that we need for healthy digestion and improved immunity. (Check out Sabra for their greek yogurt dips to pair with some whole wheat pita chips or veggies!)
Don’t forget about your fluids this time of year too! Green and black tea are great options to help with immunity, as both are packed with flavenoids (a type of antioxidant) and the amino acid L-theanine, which aids in the production of germ fighting compounds in your T-cells. Milk is awesome too – as Vitamin D has been shown to help immune cells identify and destroy bacteria and viruses that make us sick, and milk is one of the best sources! It’s easy to sneak in too (in your coffee, tea, cereal or by itself!)
So there you have it, your immune system’s natural medicine, and the best way to fight off infection this year that tastes good too! (Because I know none of us like the taste of Robitussin THAT much…) Head on over to your local supermarket to stock up on these virus fighters today!
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