Immune Boosting Fruits and Veggies

As we enter our third week of schooling and working at home, my feelings and emotions are all over the place. Mostly, I try to feel grateful for the roof over my head, and my backyard so my kids can go outside, and definitely for that trampoline that I didn’t want to buy.

But, too often the stress kicks in about the economy, the frustration takes over when I watch the news, and that sheer overwhelming feeling consumes me when all three kids need me at the same time for physical, technical and emotional things.

Covid-19, or the corona virus has certainly caught most of us off guard. This new reality of physical distancing has taken us a minute to understand and accept.

One thing I’m learning is that in this new reality, this “time out” we have been put in, it is important to carve out small moments to take a breath and be in the moment (especially with our children- who are little sponges soaking up our movements and our feelings and inhaling our anxieties and stresses). One of my favorite teachers said something this week that really resonated with me. She said that this is a good time to look inside ourselves and focus on our gift… we all have one. It’s time to find it… we should try to have our children do this, too.

So I’ve been trying to do just that… I’ve been cooking a lot. Trying new things. Involving my kids in the process and taking those moments to teach them about food and how powerful it is.

At times like these, it is more important than ever to focus on boosting our immune system and take extra special care of our health. We can’t control what’s going on outside, but we can certainly control what we put into our bodies and how we take care of ourselves.

Here is a list of the top 5 fruits and veggies to boost your immune system.

1. Citrus Citrus Citrus !

Citrus fruits are full of vitamin C which is known to rebuild white blood cells, which help fight infections. Also, with their thick peel, most citrus fruit can keep for up to three to four weeks (especially in the fridge). With limited trips to the grocery stores, this is a great time to stock up.

2. Red Bell Peppers !

Red Bell Peppers are also loaded in Vitamin C. In fact it is one of the richest vitamin C fruits. Red bell peppers are also loaded in beta carotene and lots of other vitamins and minerals. Store peppers in the fridge. When they start to get soft, roast or broil them- cut them up and store in a jar in he fridge.

3. Broccoli !

Broccoli is a super food! It should be a regular guest at your table, but especially during times when we need to boost our immune. Broccoli is packed with vitamins A, C, and E. It also has antioxidants and fiber and can be eaten cooked or raw.

4. Mushrooms !

Mushrooms are a powerhouse and I try to eat them daily! Research shows that dietary intake of mushrooms (up to one cup a day) results in higher intake of antibodies that protect our immune system. Other studies have shown that mushrooms have been shown to protect against the flu. That is because they are loaded with selenium and the B vitamins: riboflavin and niacin. This is a good time to stock up on mushrooms. Store them in a paper bag in your fridge for longer shelf life.

5. Spinach !

Spinach is not only rich in antioxidants and B vitamins, but also vitamin C, making it a well rounded leafy green to fight off infections. Spinach also has folate, which helps your body make new cells and repair DNA. add spinach to your salads, or gently and briefly steam to gain the most nutritional value.

Some Honorable mentions…

6. Kiwi ! Loaded with folate, vitamin K, and vitamin C.
7. Almonds ! Almonds are one of the best sources of Vitamin E, an essential nutrient for a healthy immune.
8. Tumeric- this colorful root (or spice) is really the top spice. It has proven itself in study after study from alleviating inflammation to decreasing muscle damage.
9. Ginger ! This little root has nutrients that target viruses like the flu. Ginger also suppresses coughing.
10. Water ! Water is perhaps the most healing source that we take into our bodies. Drinking water and staying hydrated has countless benefits, from lubricating our joints to helping our skin glow. There is no better time to create a water drinking habit. Don’t gulp down water, as it will move right through you… try instead to sip it throughout your day.