Cold and flu season has already arrived for some, and is rapidly approaching for others in our communities! This winter, strengthen your immune system by adding some of these fruits and veggies to your daily diet.
Bursting with vitamin C, oranges and other citrus fruit increase the production of white blood cells, ultimately building up your immune system. The human body cannot produce or store vitamin C, so it’s extremely important that you get your daily dose through vitamin C-rich foods. Want to use your oranges in a recipe? Try this one for Creamy Fruit Salad.
Like oranges, blueberries are filled with antioxidants that prevent and treat colds. They are also a great source of fiber, potassium and phytonutrient content that supports heart health. Make this Blueberry Quinoa Salad or Blueberry Feta Salad to get your full serving of blueberries at lunch.
The live and active cultures found in Greek yogurt are known to stimulate the immune system and help fight diseases. To avoid lots of added sugar, opt for plain yogurt and flavor it yourself with fruits and honey. Enjoy a big bowl of Greek yogurt using this recipe for Strawberry Granola Parfait.
Packed with vitamins A, C, and E, antioxidants and fiber, broccoli is one of the healthiest vegetables you can eat. Studies show that broccoli does a fantastic job combatting free radicals in your body and thus, prevent you from getting sick. Pro tip: To get the most nutrients out of broccoli (and any vegetable for that matter), cook it as little as possible. Make this No Mayo Healthy Broccoli Salad to get your serving of raw broccoli.
With their high concentration of vitamin C, tomatoes make a great immune-boosting food. Next time you have a cold, make and eat this Zesty Tortilla Soup– it’s full of tomatoes and other nutrient-packed vegetables that will have you feeling better in no time.
Eggs, especially the yolks, are full of immune-boosting nutrients like vitamin D. And since humans normally get their vitamin D from the sun, its extra important that you find other sources during the winter. In fact, studies show that people who consume a daily serving of vitamin D in the winter are less likely to catch a cold than those who do not. Get your serving of eggs from this Bacon and Egg Breakfast Hash or Parmesan Bacon Quiche, made with ingredients from your local Sparkle.
Apples are commonly known for keeping the doctor away, and for good reason. They’re filled with phytochemical antioxidants that help prevent a variety of illnesses, including the common cold. Here’s a few more interesting tidbits about apples.
Spinach is a major superfood, packed with digestion-regulating fiber and vitamin C. Its vitamin C helps prevent the common cold and reduce symptoms of sickness. Try a healthy helping of spinach in this recipe for Crustless Spinach Quiche.
Believe it or not, garlic actually positively impacts your immune system as well. Its heavy concentration of sulfur-containing compounds not only boosts your immune system, but also lowers blood pressure. Try garlic in this recipe for Honey Garlic Beef and Broccoli (ginger and broccoli are added immune boosters).
Green tea is packed with antioxidants like flavonoids and epigallocatechin gallate, both known for enhancing immune system function. A cup of green tea is also a great source of the amino acid L-theanine which aids in the production of germ-fighting compounds within your body. Throughout your winter mornings, occasionally opt for hot green tea instead of coffee.
This winter doesn’t have to be spent on the couch with a box of tissues! Head to your local Sparkle Market for all the quality healthy ingredients you need to boost your immune system and avoid sickness.