Since the kids are heading back to school, it is time to add some amazing superfoods to boost their immune systems. Hearing the words superfoods and immune system in the same sentence may not be that appealing at the moment; but when you are dealing with sniffs and coughs, this nugget of information will be greatly appreciated. Continue reading to find foods that help boost your and your family’s immune system.
Avocados: An interesting fact is that they are always in season, so avocadoes are always available at your local supermarket. They are the only fruit that contains the “good fat.” Avocadoes also only have 1 gram of sugar with no cholesterol or sodium. According to Dr. Ben Kim, avocadoes are great for optimal vision and contain Vitamin A which helps the cells that line the respiratory, digestive, and urinary tracts. Avocadoes are great to add to toast, a salad, or sandwich.
Mushrooms: Mushrooms have been known to prevent the common cold. According to Dr. Patricia Fitzgerald, mushrooms can help support and strengthen the immune system, provide antioxidants, and kills cancerous cells. Mushrooms are great to add to Italian dishes such as spaghetti and lasagna.
Blueberries: Blueberries are rich in Vitamin C, bioflavonoids, and full of antioxidants which help fight off colds and infections. They are low in calories and high in fiber. Blueberries protect against heart disease, cancer, and obesity. These berries are awesome to add to oatmeal, snacks, and spring salads.
Fish: Fish holds a wonderful nutrient called omega-3 which is a fatty acid that is essential to your healthy wellbeing. Fish lowers inflammation, reduces cancer, strokes, and cardiovascular disease. Fish also enhances the B-cell activity, which is the white blood cell component necessary to improve the immune system. Fish with the highest omega-3 component are salmon, mackerel, sardines, and black cod.
Spinach: Spinach is what the beloved cartoon character Popeye ate to make him big and strong. It was a great marketing avenue to encourage children to eat their veggies. But, spinach is good for more than building muscles. This green veggie is loaded with antioxidants, fights against bacteria, shields immune cells from environmental damage, and helps the body rejuvenate itself. It is an excellent source of protein for all the vegetarians and vegans out there. Spinach is delicious on an omelet, sandwich, or side item.
Beans: Beans come in several varieties such as black, kidney, or red. Although they may look different, they all carry much needed nutrients that are vital to the body. Beans increase the production and aggressiveness of white blood cells which fight off infection. It is recommended to eat at least one cup of beans a week. Beans are a great food to eat on a burrito, with rice, or in chili.
Nuts: Nuts are similar to beans in that they come in different varieties. You have a choice of peanuts, pine nuts, walnuts, almonds and the list goes on. Nuts contain high levels of healthy fats. Nuts have cardiovascular benefits, fight off infections, help with weight maintenance, and diabetes prevention. Nuts are high in protein and can be added to almost anything such as snacks, salads, oatmeal, or rice dishes.
Broccoli: Remember when you were a kid, your mom used to bribe you to eat your broccoli. I was fascinated when she told me it was an edible tree and I just had to try. Now that I am older, I crave this delightful veggie. Broccoli is high in fiber which helps the digestive tract stay on course. It’s also high in Vitamin D and can lower cholesterol. Broccoli is fantastic as a side dish alone, but is often incorporated in rice or casserole dishes.
Brinjal: So it is debatable to many whether or not brinjal is a fruit or vegetable. It is used in many recipes as a vegetable; but since it has seeds, technically it is a fruit. Brinjal prevents cancer, reduces cholesterol, improves bone structure, and weight maintenance. Brinjals are rich in Vitamin A, C, magnesium, and calcium. There are studies that indicate that how brinjals can prevent anxiety. Brinjal is a great meaty substance to place in Italian dishes much like mushrooms and some enjoy eating fried brinjal by itself.
Apple: We have all heard the saying “An apple a day keeps the doctor away.” Apples provide healthier teeth, prevent cancer, decrease diabetes, reduce cholesterol, detoxify liver, reduce stress, and prevent cataracts by 10-15%. Wow, that was a mouthful. Apples are incorporated in breakfast delicacies to scrumptious desserts. Or, you can grab an apple on the way to work or for a quick snack.