Foods that Boost
Find out which foods can brighten your mood—and your health!
Year after year, cold and flu season descends upon us with the reliability of a Swiss watch…and a vile temper. In addition to regular hand-washing, you have another secret weapon for protection —your diet!
Certain foods and the nutrients they contain can help boost your immune system and fight off illness and infection. Before you plan your next meal, make sure at least a few of these immune boosters are on your plate!
WARM UP WITH OATMEAL
As the weather cools down, heat up your morning with a steaming bowl of oatmeal. However, not just any oatmeal will boost the immune system. The best choice is a tried and true tradition—slow-cooked oatmeal provides the best health benefits. Oats contain a specific strain of fiber called beta-glucan, which touts both antioxidant and antimicrobial properties. In fact, research has shown that when animals eat beta-glucan, they are less likely to contract illnesses such as influenza. In addition, this powerful fiber has been shown to help boost immunity and heal wounds faster in humans. Add a dash of maple syrup to sweeten the bowl as it’s an excellent source of manganese and zinc. It’s also an immunity aid, helps ease inflammation, and supports healing.
When it comes to the fight against colds and flu this season, your fork may be your best defense. Aim to fill your plate with whole fruits and vegetables, lean protein options such as fish and shellfish, and round it out with whole grains and healthy fats for improved health this season and every season.
Erin Palinski-Wade, RD, CDE, LDN is a nationally recognized nutrition, diabetes, and fitness expert. She is a best-selling author of 4 books, and is the featured expert on the best-selling diabetes iPad app Diabetes: What Now? // erinpalinski.com