5 Tips on How to Eat for a Healthy Immune System + Immune Booster Salad Recipe
It’s that time of year where everyone seems to be coming down with something. Rather than turn to your medicine cabinet for aid, look for nutrient-rich foods instead to keep your immune system strong and prevent illness.
According to David Katz, M.D., M.P.H., director of the Yale Prevention Research Center in New Haven, CT – “There’s no question the immune system fundamentally is influenced by overall health — and a balanced diet is key. Not only are essential nutrients critical for the production and maintenance of key germ-fighting cells in the immune system, but a balanced diet also has a strong effect on vascular function, and the immune system is dependent on blood flow,” Katz says.
5 Tips on How to Eat for a Healthy Immune System:
1. Load up on fruits and vegetables (especially those rich in Vitamins A and C).
2. Eat antioxidant rich foods. Look for foods rich in Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Zinc, Selenium and Beta-carotene.
3. Increase omega 3 fatty acids in the diet (in the form of chia seeds, hemp seeds, salmon or supplements).
4. Eat “good bacteria”. Fermented foods such as miso, tempeh, sauerkraut, kombucha, kimchi and cultured veggie contain healthy bacterias, which help to ease digestion, enhance immunity and decrease inflammation in the body. In addition, fermented foods provide enzymes that help to better absorb minerals, vitamins and nutrients.
5. Drink plenty of water. Add fresh lemon juice to flavor your water. Lemons are high in Vitamin C!
Immune Booster Salad
by purely elizabeth ambassador, Alissa Robertson
3 cups finely chopped kale (stems removed and discarded)
1 cup broccoli florets, finely chopped
2 medium carrots, peeled and shredded
1/2 cup chopped bell pepper
1/2 cup thinly sliced scallions
1/4 cup finely chopped parsley
2 tablespoons raw sunflower seeds
2 tablespoons raw sesame seeds
2-3 pitted dates, chopped
2-3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons Organic Coconut Palm Sugar
1 tablespoon finely grated ginger root
Sea salt, to taste
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the kale, broccoli, carrots, bell pepper, scallions, parsley, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, and dates.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, olive oil, coconut palm sugar, and ginger to combine.
- Pour the dressing over the salad and toss to coat.
- Season to taste with salt.
- Let salad stand at room temperature for at least 15 minutes before serving.
Recipe by Alissa Robertson, Registered Dietician and owner of Lifestyle Management & Nutrition.