Immune-Boosting Fall Foods
It is that time of year where flu season starts to roll around and people unfortunately start getting sick quite a bit. Even right now, three of the four of us in my house have a pretty nasty cold. Not fun! So here is a list of some fall foods for you to try to incorporate into your meals to build up that immune system to hopefully avoid getting sick.
Sweet potatoes have double immune-boosting power thanks to vitamin C and beta-carotene (an antioxidant that our body converts to vitamin A); both vitamin A and vitamin C are believed to support healthy immune system function.
Get rid of germs before they can make you sick; laboratory test results show that garlic has anti-bacterial, anti-viral, and anti-fungal properties, giving it some serious infection-fighting potential.
Snacking on pumpkin seeds can help you boost your vitamin E intake. Vitamin E is recognized as a powerful antioxidant that helps maintain a healthy immune system, especially in older adults.
Oats are a good source of beta-glucans (naturally occurring sugars) that have been shown to promote a strong and healthy immune system. If you don’t like oats, try barley instead; it’s also a good source.
When you’re choosing a yogurt, select one that contains live and active cultures (or “good” bacteria). The good bacteria that the probiotics support can have a positive impact on many aspects of your body’s immune response.
Mushrooms are a good natural source of selenium, an antioxidant that strongly influences immune response. Cremini and shiitake mushrooms are among the most selenium-rich.
It turns out, there’s some truth to the idea that chicken soup can cure a cold; chicken releases amino acids during cooking that resemble bronchitis-fighting medicine . Plus, many chicken soup recipes are loaded with vitamin-rich vegetables and infection-fighting garlic.
Here is my favorite recipe for making your own sweet potato fries at home. They are delicious and grown-ups and kids alike LOVE them!
Sweet Potato Fries
Makes 6 servings
- cooking spray
- 3 large sweet potatoes, cut into fries--the thinner you cut them, the crispier they will get
- ¼ cup olive or grapeseed oil
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 tablespoon garlic powder
- cracked black pepper, or to taste
- 1 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
- Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray.
- Mix sweet potato wedges, oil, 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, and garlic powder together in a bowl until sweet potatoes are evenly coated. Season with black pepper.
- Arrange potato fries on the prepared baking sheet, trying to make sure none of them are touching, if possible.
- Bake in the preheated oven for 15 to 20 minutes, then flip potatoes over; continue baking until easily pierced with a fork, 15 to 20 minutes more.
- Sprinkle sweet potato fries with the remaining 1 tablespoon Parmesan cheese to serve.
Weekly Newsletter Contributor since 2014
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