Boost Your Immunity with the Right Foods
By Donna Kostiew
We aren’t out of the woods yet. Winter isn’t even halfway through and already the cold and flu season has been especially brutal for so many families. It’s almost impossible to keep our loved ones impervious to all of the germs around them, but there are some precautions that we can take to keep them on the path to good health. So don’t sit back and rest on hope alone. Hoping your family won’t get sick isn’t enough. Take some action, become the hero in your home, and save your loved ones from days of utter discomfort and misery.
Eating for Immunity
It is important to note that foods alone can’t prevent you from becoming sick, but rather, they can be used to support the body’s digestive and immune systems. Here are some suggestions.
- Choose more vegetables and fruit - Loaded with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, these are a solid choice when building your family’s meals. Too many of us aren’t eating enough of the daily recommendations, so aim to fill at least half of your dinner plates with veggies or fruit, and at as many meals as possible.
- Create a rainbow – Yes, kale is good for you, but that doesn’t mean that you need to eat it at every meal for weeks on end. Don’t get stuck eating a certain food simply because you read an article on its health benefits. Color is a great indicator of the nutrients and antioxidants that a certain food contains. So in order to ensure that you are feeding your body a wide variety, switch up your greens and veggies on a regular basis.
- Increase your intake of cruciferous vegetables – These vegetables are known to reduce the risk of cancers, to stimulate your immunity, to balance your blood sugar, and to reduce inflammation. Wondering what the heck they are though? Just think back to your childhood when your mother was telling you to eat your veggies. Broccoli, brussel sprouts, cauliflower, kale, radishes, and turnips are just a few examples.
- Sync your diet with zinc-rich foods - Consuming an adequate amount of zinc helps to prevent colds and flu and decreases the duration of symptoms if you do get sick. You can find zinc in foods such as oysters, lamb, pumpkin seeds, chickpeas, sunflower seeds, spinach, cashews, black beans, and mushrooms.
- Don’t forget the flavor – Try flavoring your food with garlic, ginger, turmeric, and onions. These foods all contain antimicrobial properties and are well known for supporting the body’s immune system and benefitting your overall health.
To maintain a healthy body, the goal should be to consume foods that support the body’s immune system every single day, and not just when a cold comes on or that certain tickle appears in the throat. So put on that cape and rescue your family. Feed them the right kinds of food before the germs attack!
To learn more about your health, wellness and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in La Verne, Calif.