As you know, this time of year is the prime time for colds and flu to rear their ugly heads. To potentially reduce your risk of getting sick, wash your hands frequently, get plenty of rest, and focus on adding these 4 immune-boosting tips to your “To Do” list:
- Add a clove of crushed garlic to one or more of your meals. Garlic helps the production of disease-fighting white blood cells because it contains allicin, which is a powerful antioxidant. Crushed garlic can go on pasta, into a soup or sauce, on top of broccoli, into a stir fry…the possibilities are endless!
- Snack on yogurt. Not only do the probiotics found in yogurt aid in digestion, they may also help to increase the effectiveness of flu vaccines and may play a role in immune system function. Look for yogurt that has “live and active cultures”. If you don’t like yogurt, ask your physician about taking a probiotic supplement.
- Make a colorful stir-fried veggie side dish using nutrient-dense vegetables like kale, diced sweet potatoes, and sliced red peppers. All of these contain immune-boosting vitamin C and, together, supply a wide range of other antioxidants to support your immune system.
- Eat lots of soluble fiber from foods like oranges, avocado, beans, berries, oats, etc. Soluble fiber has been shown to increase production of a protein that supports the body’s infection-fighting cells. For a day filled with soluble fiber, have oatmeal with berries for breakfast, add sliced avocado to your lunch sandwich, snack on fruit in the afternoon and have some bean based chili with a large salad for dinner.