It’s that time of year when just about everyone I know has either been sick, or is sick, or is keeping their fingers crossed that they dodge the season’s worst bugs.
While sometimes who gets sick and who doesn’t seems like random chance, you can increase your family’s odds of staying well by packing your diet with food that primes your body to fight for your health. These picks are easy to find at just about every grocery store and easy to prepare, so you won’t have to spend any more time or effort keeping your family healthy than you do to feed them in the first place.
Chicken soup whether homemade or store bought can ease cold and flu symptoms with anti-inflammatory properties.
Cabbage is a great source of glutamine, an amino acid that is essential in maintaining a healthy gut. Chop it up and dress it like a slaw, or saute it with carrots, broccoli, and onion in a stir-fry.
Garlic has been hailed as one of nature’s best medicines for centuries. As an anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, anti-oxidant, garlic is a powerful opponent of just about everything. Chop it up and saute with vegetables, meat, or beans.
Strong antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties make ginger root another good bet for boosting immunity. Add some peeled, chopped ginger root to smoothies for an easy immune-boosting kick.
Honey’s anti-bacterial properties and antioxidants make it a powerful immunity booster. Drizzle some on multigrain toast, oatmeal, or plain yogurt. Stir into lemon tea to soothe sore throats and improve digestion.
Lemons are full of vitamin C. Squeeze some on a salad for a brighter, clean taste and cleaner body.
Oysters may not be anyone’s favorite food, but they are a a great source of zinc, which can help strengthen T cells the cells that detect germs.
Salmon even from a can is another great source of selenium. Add to a spinach salad, or toss with olive oil, chopped celery, sliced olives, diced red onion, and make a sandwich out of it.
Spinach is packed with all sorts of vitamins and nutrients to keep bodies running well. Toss with chopped veggies for a salad, or blend into a smoothie for powerful immune boost in a form that even the kids will devour.
The orange-fleshed sweet potato is high in Vitamin A and baked sweet potatoes are an easy, healthful dinner.
Tomatoes, in any form, are full of antioxidants. Chop them up and toss them in a salad, or open a can of diced tomatoes to add to soup or make a simple pasta sauce.
Aside from being full of water hydration is important! Watermelon is another great source of healing antioxidants.
Full of fiber, vitamins, and zinc, wheat germ is a solid source of immune boosting power. Add to baked goods in place of some of the flour, or sprinkle over yogurt for a tasty meal or snack, any time of day.
Probiotics are the star of the show in yogurt’s claim to immune-boosting fame. Layer with oats and honey for an immunity-parfait.
Because hydration is important for health at any level. But it does an especially good job of flushing out toxins and thinning out mucus.
Almonds are high in vitamin E, which can ward off upper-respiratory infections, and they are great at boosting energy as well. Eat them raw, or add them to the blender with the rest of your smoothie ingredients.
Another veggie that’s rich in all sorts of vitamins and minerals necessary for health. Gnaw it raw, or lightly steam it to get the most out of it’s powerful immune-boosting punch.
A whole grain that’s high in selenium, brown rice helps maintain a body that’s clean and clear. Add some to your chicken soup as it’s cooking just test it to be sure it’s tender and cooked all the way through.