The food we eat serves as powerful medicine. In fact, the right choices in our diet can build our immune system and protect us from disease. This winter, empower your midday meal as the perfect opportunity to get the vitamins and nutrients your body needs.
The simplest way to eat for your immune system to to make sure you eat a variety of fresh produce. Plant based foods are rich in phytochemicals, such as lutein and flavonoids, which can positively influence the chemical processes in our bodies. Also, there is a lot of immune boosting power in fish, nuts and grains.
So, when it’s noon, and you’re thinking about your ‘immune’ system- what should you reach for? We’ve rounded up some great winter foods to consider as lunch options to improve your immunity and health.
Sweet Potatoes are full of beta-carotene, and beta carotene is great for keeping healthy. How? Your body transforms beta carotene into Vitamin A, as needed. Vitamin A strengthens your immune system by supporting your skin, your largest organ. Beta Carotene is also amazing for your eye health. Add a half cup serving to salads, or as a side to your meal, for clear sight to good health.
Don’t just associate seafood with Summer! Seafood has powerful disease fighting properties which make it a must have in your winter lunch. Adding salmon to your lunch treats your body to Omega 3 which can support your lungs against respiratory infections. Also, making a point to add selenium-rich shellfish to your meal can help your white blood cells actively clear viruses out of your body.
You can find more of that selenium immune-boost in mushrooms too. This powerful antioxidant, along with another, ergothioneine, is prevalent in a variety of mushroom types. Selecting white, portabella or crimini mushrooms will provide your white blood cells with antioxidants to help you fight infection. Another great thing about ergothioneine is that it doesn’t get compromised by the cooking process- so having a warm bowl of mushroom soup on a cold day can be equally beneficial as is adding raw mushrooms to a salad.
The best defenses against potential illness are making sure you’re hydrated and eating well. So, whether you’re cooking for yourself or dining out, make sure to treat your body well by adding some of these immune boosting foods to your lunch.
About Isabelle Ahearne
Isabelle Ahearne is on The Path Editorial Team. In addition to reading herarticles on The Path, you can follow her adventures on Facebook.