Oh boy! Back to the routine. The unofficial end to summer is here. Now that all the kids are back to school (I know - some went back in August), they are mingling with germs and sicknesses that they will bring home and spread to everyone else. This past flu season was awful. I know a lot of people who got ill, even if they took the flu shot.
I personally don't believe in the flu shot. Why put some antigen in my body that may not even protect me from whatever strain comes out? Plus, I don't have an underlying health issue that would make me more susceptible to getting the flu. I attribute my good health to eating healthy, regular exercise and a positive attitude.
Most people think that if they hear someone sniffle or sneeze that they will get whatever that person is dealing with. Think again. In order to get sick, your immune system has to be fatigued because it doesn't have the energy to keep you healthy. That's right! If you aren't giving your body the energy it needs through what you are eating and exercise, it will be fatigued making you more susceptible to illness.
How do you give your body the energy it needs? By eating organic, mostly plant-based foods. Organic foods are nutrient dense. Since they are higher nutrients, the nutrients can help support your body's energy needs at a cellular level. If your cells have the energy they need, they can help your body stay healthy and fight infections, such as the common cold.
While organic foods are nutrient dense, you still need to take vitamins and supplements. Why? Because the food you eat will not contain therapeutic doses of the vitamins and minerals you need to stay healthy. Most people are going to need a Multivitamin, Quercetin and Vitamin D. to support good health. Depending on your gender and age, you may need additional support.
What is Quercetin? Quercetin is a powerful antioxidant that is found in foods such as berries, broccoli, leafy green vegetables and tomatoes. Since quercetin is anti-viral, anti-microbial and anti-inflammatory, it is a widely used supplement to help ward off attacks on the immune system. When looking for a reputable supplement, make sure to find a company that thoroughly tests their products for potency and purity. I like the brand NOW Foods, which can be found on amazon by clicking here.
So, what can you eat to support the immune system? I found some tasty lunch recipes to share with you. They can be made ahead of time and eaten cold since microwaving can make foods harder to digest. If you have access to a stove or oven, then you can heat up some of the recipes below.
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One Pan Roasted Garlic Parmesan Chicken and Veggies from Chelsea's Messy Apron. The ingredients in this recipe that help keep your immune system healthy are garlic, onions and broccoli. Garlic and onions are known for being anti-bacterial and anti-viral. Broccoli is high in Vitamin C, supplying 205% of your daily value in 1 cup. You can eat this over rice or quinoa. Click here for the recipe.
My Favorite Apple Spinach Salad from Gimme Some Oven. Spinach is high in zinc, which is known to help fight colds. Your immune cells rely on zinc to keep them healthy so eating foods high in zinc on a daily basis will help keep your immune system healthy. This salad incorporates apples, walnuts, red onions and feta cheese. If you feel like you need meat at lunchtime, top this with some chopped up grilled chicken. Click here for the recipe.
Winter Pomegranate Orange Quinoa Salad from the Recipe Critic. You can't share recipes that support the immune system without having at least one recipe focusing on citrus. After all, vitamin C is definitely one of the go-to ingredients when supporting the immune system. This recipe is also a spinach based salad which you just learned also supports the immune system. The recipe calls for mandarin oranges. I would substitute those for a fresh organic orange. Click here for the recipe.
Crust-less Quiche from A Pretty Life in the Suburbs. Quiche? Yes quiche. Eggs are high in vitamin D. Our immune cells look for vitamin D to help regulate the immune system. This is important to help keep anti-inflammatory response in the body at a minimum. This recipe gives a list of ingredients that you can add to the quiche. I would make this with a non-dairy milk and add-in spinach and broccoli but skip the cheese! I am dairy-free but if dairy doesn't bother you, feel free to cook the quiche as is. I would also eat this with a side-salad. Click here for the recipe.
Zoodles with Chicken and Spicy Almond Butter Sauce from the Lean Green Bean. Did you know nuts are high in selenium and zinc? Two key minerals important to keep your immune system healthy. I love the idea of zucchini noodles for lunch. It is a low-carb way to eat this delicious, spicy almond butter sauce. Click here for the recipe.
That's it for immune boosting lunch recipes idea. I hope this post helps you keep your immune system healthy as we go start the new school season and as we get closer to cough cold season. If you try any of the recipes I shared, don’t forget to tag me on Instagram as @heatherleehurst and use the #heathershealthhabits hashtag. I love seeing your takes on my recipes!