Immune Boosting Meal Plan

With the chilly air also comes colds and flus.  And no one likes to get sick!  Luckily the foods you eat can help you stay healthy this winter.  Here is a sample menu plan to help boost immunity.  Here’s to staying healthy!

Breakfast

Oatmeal: Oats contain a type of fiber called beta-glucan, known to have antioxidant and antimicrobial properties.  Top with chopped almonds which contain B vitamins to help you deal with stress as well as vitamin E which helps to boost the immune system.

Grapefruit: Grapefruits are a good source of vitamin C and flavonoids, both known to help activate the immune system.

Green or Black Tea: Both contain disease fighting polyphenols and flavonoids. Don’t want the caffeine?  No problem, caffeinated and decaffeinated work equally well.  Sweeten with raw honey which has antioxidant and anti-bacterial properties.

Lunch

Chicken Soup: Who knew that grandma’s chicken soup actually helps inflammation and boost immunity!  Researchers at the Nebraska Medical Center found that chicken soup actually decreases inflammation.  Flavor it with lots of garlic, which contains several antioxidants that battle germs.  And load it up with mushrooms, a good source of selenium and antioxidants.  Increased risk of coming down with a severe flu has been linked to low levels of selenium.  Mushrooms are also known to have antibacterial and antiviral properties.

Snack

Yogurt: A study by the University of California found that eating 1 serving of yogurt per day cuts the incidence of colds by 25%. Make sure it contains “live and active cultures” as research suggests that they may stimulate your immune system.  Top with blueberries, among the best when it comes to antioxidant activity. Sprinkle with chia seeds, another powerful antioxidant and a source of omega 3 fatty acids which decrease inflammation.

Dinner

Honey Ginger Salmon: Three ounces of sockeye salmon contains 447 IUs of vitamin D, which puts you well on your way to the recommended dietary allowance of 600 IUs per day.  Low levels of vitamin D have been linked to decreased immunity in addition to inflammation, osteoporosis, and chronic disease. Ginger fights inflammation and helps settle your stomach.

Coleslaw: Cabbage contains a powerful antioxidant, glutathione, which is known to help fight infection.  And cabbage is in season in the winter!

Yam: Research has shown that yam stimulate the immune system to fight off invaders, maybe because they are a great source of vitamin C.  One serving of yam provides more than 25% of your daily needs.

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