5 Powerful Immunity-Boosting Foods
Looking for Foods That Boost Your Immune System?
Winter vegetables are nature´s flu shot. They contain a wide range of nutrients that are effective in supporting your body´s ability to fight off seasonal sicknesses.
Add these tasty veggies to your daily meals to help keep colds and flu at bay. They can be used in a variety of dishes from savory to sweet, so it´s easy to find favorite recipes that include these amazing immunity boosters.
(#1) Winter Squash
Of all the winter vegetables, squash provide the most variety and versatility. They are rich in beta-carotene, a powerful disease-fighting antioxidant. Beta-carotene is also a precursor to vitamin A, meaning that your body changes the nutrient into fat-soluble vitamin.
A low percentage of beta-carotene is actually used to make vitamin A, but adding natural fats like butter or coconut oil to cooked squash helps support the conversion.
Winter squash is also rich in vitamin C, another nutrient known to support the immune system and prevent disease.
Butternut and pie pumpkin are two popular varieties that can be used in almost everything from soups to desserts. Other delectable favorites include acorn, delicata, and spaghetti squash. When making a choice at the market, pick a squash that seems heavy for its size.
Leeks are also a good source of vitamin C. Included in the same family as onions and garlic, leeks contain nutrients called organosulfur compounds.
These compounds may work as potent cancer fighters and promote the synthesis of glutathione. Glutathione is an antioxidant that helps the liver to filter out toxins.
Purchase small or medium-sized leeks for the best texture. Be sure to choose leeks with tops that look fresh and vibrant. Slice lengthwise and rinse thoroughly in order to remove the dirt that hides within the layers.
Use leeks to add hearty flavor to a host of comforting cold-weather dishes like potato leek soup or roasted root vegetables.
(#3) Belgian Endive
Belgian endive is one of the most unique fall vegetables.
It works as a prebiotic, feeding beneficial bacteria that line the intestinal walls. This lining is your first defense against viruses and other pathogens that make you sick during flu season.
A little Belgian endive goes a long way, so use sparingly. Eat too much, and your meal may work as a laxative.
Belgian endive is a type of chicory. It adds a sharp flavor to stir fries, soups, or salads. Look for a perfect torpedo-shaped endive to use in a recipe.
Fennel is loaded with cancer-fighting, inflammation-cooling phytonutrients.
These plant-based compounds enhance immune response and repair damaged cells.
Vitamin C-rich fennel is one of the best foods that boost your immune system.
Fennel´s white bulb, stalk, and thin leaves are all edible. Its mild licorice flavor provides a delicious compliment to other vegetables in salads, soups, and stews.
(#5) Sunchoke (Jerusalem Artichoke)
The sunchoke is a relative of the sunflower. Like Belgian endive, the sunchoke works as an effective prebiotic, feeding probiotic bacteria that live throughout your digestive tract to destroy illness-causing pathogens.
Again, a little goes a long way. Too much can cause embarrassing gastrointestinal issues, so it probably wouldn't be a good idea to include a big pan of roasted sunchoke in your next romantic dinner for two!
Like the potato, sunchokes are tubers, and they also have a skin that may be peeled or eaten.
Sunchoke looks like ginger root and it grows successfully in colder climates. Its sweet, nutty flavor works well with other roasted vegetables. With a texture that´s similar to a water chestnut, sunchoke adds nice texture to salad.
Winter Vegetables are a Tasty Way to Stay Healthy
As temperatures drop, cold and flu outbreaks rise. The best way to avoid getting sick is to take care of your body and do things to support your immune system, like eating vitamin-rich foods.
Seasonal plant foods provide effective natural protection against these harmful invaders.
The abundance of flavors, textures, and aromas provided by winter vegetables makes it a delight to create dishes with foods that boost your immune system.
Healthy Food Links
- Tips on How to Make Chicken Stock that's Healthy and Delicious
Homemade chicken bone stock is an easy and delicious way to get important nutrients. Use leftover chicken bones to create a rich stock that you can use for sauces, soups, or for cooking vegetables.
- 3 Ways Slow Cooked Chicken Improves Health and Prevents Disease
For a healthier, tastier way to enjoy chicken, slow cooked chicken gives you more bang for your buck. Most people believe that boneless skinless chicken breast is the way to go for preparing healthy meals.
- 7 Ways to Save Money on Food and Still Eat Healthy
When you're on a budget, eating healthy can be a challenge. Healthy whole foods continue to escalate in price while sale flyers display processed, refined foods with deep discounts.
© Liz Davis 2012 Foods That Boost Your Immune System
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