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Published on October 29, 2014

Immunity Boosting Foods

10.29.14Immunity Boosting Foods

Autumn means busy schedules and holiday celebrations with family and friends. It’s also when your loved ones are most at risk for seasonal influenza and the common cold, but one key to keeping healthy this fall could be as close as your next meal.

While seasonal flu shots and hand washing can help keep you healthy all winter long, the food you serve could go a long way toward boosting your family’s immunity. Consider adding these items to your grocery list:

Yogurt and kefir are great sources of good bacteria. Once ingested, these linger in your intestinal tract, fighting off disease and infection. Add to smoothies or use plain yogurt as a base for an herb or onion dip. Your stomach will thank you.

Garlic is known in literature for keeping vampires at bay, but it’s actually good for decreasing your risk of bacterial or viral infections. Add this pungent herb to stir-fried foods or roast it in the oven and mix it with a soft cheese for a mellow spread that’s great on bread or veggies.

Oregano, an herb typically found in marinara and pizza sauce, has powerful antioxidants that aid with digestion while keeping colds and flu away. Add fresh or dried oregano to sauces and soups or rub chicken with lemon and oregano before roasting it in the oven.

Teas, such as green tea and chamomile varieties, can help you stay cozy and boost immunity. Green tea contains the amino acid L-thiamine that tells your T-cells to send germ-fighting compounds out into the bloodstream. It also has plant antioxidants that can ward off common cold and flu. Chamomile contains plant antioxidants, which can stay in your system up to two weeks with regular consumption. Feeling stressed? Drink up. This tea can help you feel calm, thanks to upping your body’s levels of glycine, which helps you relax.


Just Say “No” to Overindulgence

Thanksgiving is the kick-off for holiday celebrations and the season of overindulging. Want to keep your waistline—and overall health—in check? Try out these tricks on Turkey Day and use them all winter long.

Fix fixings differently. Look for easy ways to improve family favorite recipes. Use skim milk instead of cream; baste your turkey in white wine instead of butter, and use applesauce or overripe bananas to sweeten baked goods instead of processed sugar. Low-sodium chicken broth or fresh or dried herbs can make dishes flavorful without the sodium overload of regular salt.

Put portions in perspective. Once you’ve helped prepare the meal, you’re going to want to dig in. Try taking small portions at first and concentrating on the food you’re eating. If you still want more, you can always go back for seconds later.

Sources: sparkpeople.com, womenshealthmag.com, abcnews.go.com, alternet.org

Keep your family’s diet back on track this holiday season. Check out KishHealth System’s Healthy Eating classes!

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