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Cuisine for Your Immune System

Cuisine for Your Immune System

When daily vitamins aren’t enough to keep your immune system strong, certain foods can give you a jump on incoming illness and protect your immune system. Fruits and vegetables are the standards when we think of eating healthy, but we might not realize that other foods can provide the body with necessary vitamins too.

The merry acai berryAcai Berries

You might have heard of this fruit from a coffeehouse fruit beverage. This dark berry has antioxidants to help support your immune system and can be enjoyed in smoothies or juices.

Elderberries for all ages

This berry provides a nutritious boost that can help protect your body against the flu and other cold-like diseases. If you get the flu, you can still use the elderberry to shorten the length of the flu and the symptoms that come along with it. 

Sea oysters? See healthy!

Not only do fruits help your immune system but seafood, specifically oysters, do as well! The zinc supplied in this salty dish creates and activates white blood cells that help in response to viruses attacking the body.

Spinach – Not only for Popeye

Spinach might be the lesser-known “superfood”, but it is loaded with nutrients that help the body in many ways such as fiber, vitamin C, and antioxidants, which are always helpful for colds. Folate is also hidden in these leafy greens, which promotes the reparation of DNA and body cells.

Real garlic, real benefits

Once the garlic is crushed or chewed, its alliin compound turns into allicin, which boosts the disease-fighting properties of certain white blood cells. This helps with certain viruses like the cold or flu, but only if you’re getting real garlic!

Loving low-fat yogurtFat free yogurt

Low-fat yogurt has the benefit of probiotics to ease the severity of colds that attack the immune system. Some yogurts also have added vitamin D which is vital for those who are deficient in the cold-resistant vitamin.

Sweet health, sweet skin, sweet potatoes

The great-tasting sweet potatoes have large quantities of vitamin A and C and harbor all the same immune-boosting qualities without the calories. As an added bonus, sweet potatoes have a great benefit to the skin so you can look good and feel good.

These foods are not guaranteed to prevent all illnesses from interfering with your body, but they can still help to build a stronger immune system. Try substituting spinach for your salad instead of romaine or iceberg lettuce. Add a side of sautéed sweet potatoes over fries and have a bowl of mixed berries for dessert. There are easy ways to incorporate these foods into your everyday meals without much change such as grabbing a yogurt with that extra vitamin D boost. Protect your body by eating healthy!

Dawn Davoli

Dawn Davoli, Registered Dietitian is a frequent presenter at the Excela Health Mall Walkers program and also provides education through public speaking engagements and the school-based program “Healthy Habits”.Healthy Habits Logo