Foods that Boost

Eating Naturally - - Contents - BY ERIN PALINSKI-WADE, RD, CDE, LDN

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

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