Immunity Boosting Foods...Served Up for Your Health!

Friday, October 18, 2019

With the change in seasons it seems our immune system is more vulnerable to allergies, colds and flu, especially in the fall. There are actually a number of studies that show how there are more virus present during the change of seasons and that drops in temperature do make us immune compromised. 

For instance, Yale University found a seven-degree drop in ambient temperature negatively influences your body’s ability to stop cold viruses from proliferating. Akiko Iwasaki, a professor of immunobiology at Yale School of Medicine explains, “Every time we’re exposed to infections, we try to counter this by secreting interferons, which are important for blocking viruses. We found that if you reduce temperatures from 37 to 33 degrees Celsius—98.6 degrees to 91.4 degrees in Fahrenheit—that change can dampen immune response and allow viruses to replicate more.” 

Understanding that our vulnerability is real may encourage us to go get a flu shot but what are the other ways we can boost our immune system to fight off the cold and flu? This is especially important if we are combatting diseases like cancer, heart failure, and diabetes. What we eat and drink as well as the exercise we plan in our day and the sleep we get at night can all play a part in keeping our immune system strong.

There are certain foods and spices that are known to boost our immune systems. For instance, in the fall we can enjoy cooking seasonal vegetables that bolster our ability to fight off the cold and flu and help us live as our healthiest selves.

The family of vegetables known as “cruciferous” vegetables, named because of the shape of their flowers, have compounds called indoles and isothiocyanates that help reduce inflammation and prevent DNA damage, both critical for keeping us healthy. This group of vegetables includes: broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, kale, bok choy, arugula, Brussels sprouts, collards, watercress and radishes. Incorporating these into your fall menus is an easy way to combat seasonal illnesses. Here are some recipes from the Live Vibrant blog that should help inspire you:

Eggs are also known to help us fight off infections and specifically fight cancer. Eggs have choline, which reduces breast cancer risk. The good news is that eggs are back on the “okay to eat” list. It is so easy to add eggs into our diet from eating hardboiled eggs as a snack, frying an egg to top a salad or include in Sandwich. Our favorite use of eggs is in egg salads and frittatas. Below are a few recipes we wanted to share:

Another great way to boost our immune system is to drink tea. Chai Teas are known to be infused with a variety of herbs and spices that not only warm our hearts but also fortify our bodies. Consider making your own home made chai tea and then take the time to savor the moment. You deserve it! Here is my version of Chai Tea (served up in a Vivente mug, of course!) that is easy to make and tasty to drink:

Enjoy! And Live vibrant!

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