7 Tasty Winter Foods That Boost Your Immune System
As Old Man Winter sets in, it’s essential to keep your immune system healthy to ward off seasonal flu and other ailments. Starve off the common cold this season and discover a healthier you. The following seven tasty winter foods that boost your immune system prove that eating well does a body good.
Eat Your Way to Better Health
#1. Butternut Squash
Did you know that squash is one of the oldest-known grown crops? For food that is as delicious as it is vibrant in color, butternut squash packs an immune-boosting punch once your body converts its beta-carotene and alpha-carotene into vitamin-A. Plus, the fiber content in squash can aid in digestion and prevent certain cancers.
Whether you grill, roast, or chop it, squash is an excellent addition to any winter stew for a flavorful, healthy meal.
The adage, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure,” is an accurate idiom for this particular vegetable. Not only can garlic reduce the days you suffer from cold or flu symptoms, but it can also prevent sickness in the first place.
Garlic is a versatile ingredient that belongs in every kitchen. Add this bulbous vegetable to your daily diet to experience many health benefits. Chop, saute, or eat the bulbs raw, if you dare. (Don’t forget the breath mints!)
Let’s hear it for the birds. There’s nothing quite like a homemade bowl of chicken soup when you’re feeling unwell. This time-trusted concoction can lower inflammation and relieve the unpleasant symptoms of the common cold.
Turkey and chicken are both packed with vitamin B-6. This vitamin forms new red blood cells while improving metabolism and promoting healthy brain and liver functioning. However you dish it up, you’ll benefit from adding poultry to your diet this winter.
This red-fleshed ancient fruit is both tasty and rich in nutrients. Popular as a seasoning and a garnish, a pomegranate’s seeds can add color to salads or sweeten up beverages.
Not only are they unique in appearance, did you know they can boost your immunity? Pomegranates offer an ample dose of protein, vitamin C, potassium, and vitamin K.
The world’s healthiest fruit offers protection from free radicals and can fight heart disease. Bonus: consuming pomegranates every day can improve digestion and encourage weight loss.
#5. Sweet Potato
Vitamin A plays a crucial role in the body’s immune system. The bright orange sweet potato is a rich source of vitamin A, fiber, and antioxidants. Not to be confused with a yam, the sweet potato can also prevent anemia, thanks to its high vitamin C content.
Rather than bake the traditional russet potato this season, why not go for this colorful root veggie instead? Sweet potatoes can be baked whole, mashed, or added to winter casseroles for a sweet boost to your health.
#6. Pumpkin Spice
We can’t segue into colder seasons without the mention of pumpkin spice. Whether you add this to your warm drinks or bake them into a pie, you’ll benefit from the positive effects this seasoning boasts.
Linked to sharpening memory, pumpkin spice is also known to improve sleep and reduce stress. Both are vital if you aim to keep your immune system in check. Be sure to read pumpkin spice labels to ensure there are no added artificial ingredients. Better yet, mix up a blend of your own with cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger.
Because of their abundance of vitamin D, mushrooms can kickstart your immune system and boost longevity. Fungi have long been used in eastern medicinal practices thanks to their antioxidant effects. These hearty ground growers can fight off colds and flu while improving mental health.
There are over twenty types of commercially grown edible mushrooms. You can even purchase dried or powdered varieties to mix into a smoothie for a nutritious and delicious treat.
Other Ways to Boost Immunity
While adding these tasty foods into your daily diet will promote positive improvements to your health, you’ll still want to take other steps to remain healthy this winter. Regular exercise, hand sanitization, ample sleep, and reducing stress all help ward off many illnesses and diseases.
Even small improvements to your daily diet – like healthy, prepared meals made from the finest ingredients – and making necessary lifestyle changes will help your immune system do its job, naturally.
Take care of your mind and body this season, and you’ll reap the rewards of your efforts.
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