About a month ago I got really sick! Turns out, I had strep throat for the second time this year and it was no better than my first go-round. I am going to have a moment of transparency here. Being a single-mother is hard guys. I have lucked up in so many other scenarios with my parents really stepping up and taking Peyton when I get super sick so that she doesn’t get it but, last week my mom was on a cruise and I was watching her pup so, it was just me, my terrific two-year old, and two rambunctious dogs. But, guess what? I handled it and it was actually a good experience because it allowed me to get to the point where I stopped putting limitations on myself and my creator (more on that another day).
Because I definitely see food as medicine and know that there are specific foods that we need to incorporate into our diets to boost our immune system, I sought the advice of Sara Siskind, Certified Nutritional Health Counselor and founder of Hands on Healthy. Sara has come up with 5 of her favorite immune boosting foods you can add into your diet to help you feel your best!
Eat colorful fruits and vegetables rich in vitamins and minerals. Reach for red and pink grapefruits, oranges, kiwis, and berries. Choose cruciferous veggies like broccoli, cauliflower and brussels sprouts. These fruits and veggies are not only loaded with essential vitamins and phytonutrients, but they are also rich in antioxidants which give your immune system a boot and help build up your digestive track.
Add in pistachios as a heart healthy, protein rich snack. Pistachios are also rich in antioxidants and the heart healthy fats to help your body absorb vitamin E. Vitamin E is needed by the immune system to fight off invading bacteria. Pistachios are also rich in vitamin B6 which also helps prevent infection and create healthy red blood cells your body needs. Setton Farms Pistachio Chewy Bites are an easy way to eat pistachios on the go or simply adding to your lunch bag.
Look for omega 3 fatty acids and selenium which are found in shellfish, salmon, mackerel, and herring. These foods help white blood cells produce a protein which helps clear flu viruses out of the body. Omega 3 fatty acids reduce inflammation in the body by clearing the lungs pathways. This can help protect from colds and respiratory infections.
Make yogurt your go-to breakfast or snack. Yogurt contains probiotics; “healthy bacteria” that your body needs to keep your immune system strong and keeps your digestive free of disease causing germs. Yogurt is also filled with protein that keeps your body energized and strong.
Spice up your food with turmeric, ginger, and cinnamon. These spices are especially known to contain antioxidants that help to protect your cells and keep inflammation in the body down. I add turmeric to soups, eggs, rice, and poultry. Fresh grated ginger brings warmth to any beverage. Cinnamon can be sprinkled on oatmeal, cereal, yogurt, and easily added to anything you bake.