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Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Great Immunity Boosting Foods

figWith cold season approaching (at least outside of northern California where the sun seems to be permanently affixed to the perfectly blue sky), it is a good time to start thinking about healthier foods to eat. So, I decided to post today about an article I found on immunity boosting foods. Below are my thoughts on the article's food suggestions as well as a suggestion of my own. :)

Immunity Boosting Foods

(1) Chili Peppers: Chili peppers are believed to lower one's risk of heart disease and cancer, while boosting one's immune health. They are also believed to stimulate metabolism (that's a huge plus!) What I love the most about chili peppers is the fact that they are so flavorful, for no calories. Chili peppers are great to add to your favorite stir fry, guacamole, salsa, low calorie quesadilla, or your favorite sandwich.

(2) Green Tea: Tea is believed to help ward against cancer, high cholesterol, and infections. This is one of my personal favorites from the list of foods for immunity, especially during the winter when tea and soup are really comforting . Drinking green tea is also a great way to satisfy any hunger you might have in between breakfast and lunch or during the afternoon.

(3) Ginger: Ginger helps with circulation, digestion, and also has anti-inflammatory effects on the body. Ginger is a spice that you can add to soups, stir-frys, certain desserts, cakes, curries and salad dressings.

(4) Blueberries: Blueberries are full of antioxidants which help protect against infection. They are also known to help keep skin beautiful! I'm on a blueberry kick right now -- I eat them every day. Right now I buy organic frozen blueberries at Whole Foods (black packaging), which I *love* because the blueberries are extremely large but still flavorful.

(5) Cinnamon: Cinnamon is believed to improve health on many fronts: lowering blood sugar, helping lower cholesterol, and maybe protecting against cancer. My new most favorite thing to do with cinnamon is to sprinkle some in my unsweetened almond milk or low calorie pacific almond breeze. It is delicious! Cinnamon can also be added to oatmeal, cereal, frozen bananas, apples, or a banana smoothie.

(6) Sweet Potatoes: My friend Evan blogged previously on Yummy Diet Food about sweet potatoes and you can read about the health benefits here. Baked sweet potatoes are a great alternative to baked french fries, and they can also be eaten on their own in other recipes like casseroles (I'd love to see yours if you have one you'd like to share!)

(7) Tomatoes: Tomatoes improve digestion, strengthen the immune system, and potentially reduce the risk of cancer.

(8) Figs: Figs are high in fiber, help regulate blood pressure, and are really filling! Figs can be eaten in pre-made foods (like figamajigs) or they can be eaten raw alone or with cheese or nuts. They can also be added to puddings and baked goods (if you are a better cook than me)!

(9) Mushrooms (reiki, shiitake, maitake): My least favorite food on this list, mushrooms are believed to help fight against diseases (bacterial and viral) and potentially help protect the body against cancer. There are all sorts of ways to eat mushrooms (sandwiches, soups, salads, stir-frys, etc.), all of which I avoid. :)

(10) Pomegranates: Pomegranate seeds are fun to eat, although I don't recommend buying the entire fruit and de-seeding it yourself (unless you have a trick I don't know about). Pomegranate seeds are great in fruit salads or on lettuce salads! You can also drink pomegranate juice if you have more calories to spare.

(11) Honey: Honey isn't listed in the article, but it is one of my personal favorite foods to eat when I feel a cold coming on. Honey helps fight bacteria and protect one's immune system. It is great in tea, in almond milk, smoothies, cereal or oatmeal.

Enjoy!
Juliet

Fig Photo from FreeDigitialPhotos.Net

2 comments:

balance, joy and food! said...

I like most of them and eat most of them regularly. Maybe that's the reason that I never get the flu.
Thanks for the info!

craig at balanced immune health said...

Good stuff, Juliet. Great to view your blog for the first time. I'll be checking back regularly. Keep up the great work. I think if people got this kind of dietary regimen coupled with some yoga and plenty of sleep, we could rid the world of antibiotics!

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