A strong immune system has always been crucial for humans when we talk about having good overall health. Now living in the time of the Coronavirus pandemic this has become much more highlighted. Like the rest of our body, our immune system requires certain nutrients to keep it strong. Our immune system is our body’s defense mechanism that constantly shields us from anything that can do our body harm.
One of the best ways we can support our immune system is by incorporating certain things into our daily lives. In this case we are talking about our diet. Our diets play a huge role in supporting our immune system, just as it does with so many other functions in the body. This article will provide 4 dishes that you can incorporate into your weekly meals in order to aid your immune system.
1. Salmon en Papillote
Salmon is a good food for getting enough protein into your diet. This also makes it a booster of your immune system. Registered dietitian Amy Kimberlain states that without sufficient protein the body is not able to function properly to produce enough immune cells to keep it out of the hands of harmful bacteria. This lack of protein will leave the body more susceptible to respiratory issues, urinary tract infections and gastrointestinal issues. The omega-3 fatty acids found in salmon help fight inflammation and aid the immune system in defending against antigens.
To cook this recipe all you will need is salmon fillets, preferably still with the skin attached, fresh herbs, lemon and any vegetables of your liking. All this recipe requires is to wrap the salmon fillets in parchment or foil along with its vegetables, garnishes and seasonings (salt and pepper). Crimp the edges of the parchment closed and pop it into a 400 degree oven.
2. Broccoli Salad
Broccoli is a sulfurous vegetable, this means that it increases the body’s glutathione levels. Glutathione is an antioxidant that the body produces in order to resist oxidative stress. The journal Nutrients published a review that found out glutathione improved the activity of “natural killer cells”. These cells are important to the immune system because they rapidly respond to cells in the body that are infected by a virus. Certain studies on animals found that broccoli consumption increased cytokines in the blood which regulates the immune system – of course more studies on humans must be done until this can be concluded.
A broccoli salad is a perfect, healthy and vibrant salad for the summer time. It makes a great dish to serve during summer barbeques and cookouts – your family and friends can thank you for improving their immune systems. This dish makes broccoli seem like a delicacy. With its crispy bacon, crunchy pecans, grapes, raisins and red onion the dish provides all the sweet, savory and contrasting flavors to satisfy you. If you want to increase the immune boosting factor of this meal you can switch a mayo salad dressing for a Greek yogurt and honey salad dressing. Both of these ingredients are also immune boosting foods.
3. Vegetarian Sweet Potato Nachos
Instead of having nacho night with the packaged tortilla chips, swap them out for sweet potatoes that are a healthier option and taste just as good. Compared to tortilla chips, sweet potatoes are a great source of an antioxidant called beta carotene. Other than boosting your immune system, antioxidants actually reduce the chance your body becomes affected by free radical damage (cancer and heart disease).
Choosing to make the meal vegetarian comes into play because the black beans in vegetarian nacho sauce are a food called slow carbs. Slow carbs lower inflammation in the body, their effects when consumed work better than effects of low-carb diets. What’s great about a recipe like this is that it can be cooked in a slow cooker. Therefore all you have to do is throw all the ingredients into an instant pot or slow cooker and wait for it to be done.
4. Stuffed Peppers
As we all know, vitamin C is great for our immune system, that’s why we’re all taught to eat oranges. Well, bell peppers contain more than 2 times the amount of vitamin C that is in an orange. Vitamin C stimulates cells that attack foreing bacteria and viruses that come into our bodies. According to the Centers for Diseases Control and Prevention (CDC) it also increases the levels of antibodies in the blood.
The only things you’ll need for this recipe is bell peppers, any type of rice, tomato sauce and a bunch of vegetables (you can also add meat if you are a meat lover). Mix the rice, tomato sauce, vegetables and some seasonings together in a bowl first. Then scoop out the bell peppers and stuff then with the mix of rice and vegetables. Add cheese to the top if that is prefered. If you really need a boost of vitamin C, pair the meal with a fruity tangerine salad.