1. Wild Salmon: Wild salmon is a natural source of Vitamin D, which is essential to the immune system's ability to destroy bacteria and viruses. Salmon is also a good source of Vitamin E, a powerful antioxidant that has been linked to a decreased risk of heart disease, cancer and the formation of cataracts, and also promotes optimal health and wellbeing.
2. Pumpkin: This festive, seasonal squash is packed with beta-carotene, which the body converts into Vitamin A, an essential player in the production of infection-fighting white blood cells. With Halloween just a month away, it's easy to find pumpkins all around town-from pumpkin patches to your local grocery store. Celebrate Halloween by carving a few pumpkins with loved ones and then use the pulp to make pumpkin soup or stew, and roast the pumpkin seeds for a savory snack.
3. Mushrooms: Mushrooms commonly used in Asian cuisine, such as shiitake and oyster mushrooms, are rich in beta-glucans, carbohydrates that promote the production of white blood cells. White button mushrooms contain selenium and riboflavin, both of which help fight bacterial infections. All of these mushrooms can easily be incorporated into favorite winter dishes such as soups and casseroles or used as toppings on a salad or a pizza.
4. Lean Beef: Lean beef contains iron and zinc, two nutrients that help fight infection, viruses and parasites. It's also rich in the antioxidant selenium, which is needed to repair immune cells. Use ground, lean beef in spaghetti sauce or make it into meatballs and serve over whole-wheat pasta for a healthy alternative to a classic favorite. Use it in tacos with someguacamole with pomegranate seeds for an added nutritional boost!
5. Legumes: Packed with iron, zinc and vitamin B6, which helps create lymphocytes, legumes pack quite the immune-boosting punch. They can easily be used as a side in any meal or as a main protein in dishes like Lentil Soup or Vegetarian Chili.Need more direction on how to incorporate these super foods into your diet? Request a copy of our Comfort Foods Cookbook from your local office. It's full of delicious, healthy recipes everyone will love!