Fall is a favorite time of year for many people. Crisp sunshine filled afternoons, beautiful colorful foliage and of course, football! Unfortunately with this change in weather there is also a downside. Kids are back in school sharing germs in close quarters and seasonal changes can trigger allergies and colds. In addition, winter is right around the corner, bringing with it the time for more illnesses including the dreaded flu.
We wanted to share several ideas to help boost your immune system and keep you and your family healthy this season.
1) Cook with mushrooms. Mushrooms, especially shiitake, have been shown to increase immune function and decrease inflammation in the body, which can help fight off illness. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/04/150416112826.htm
2) Add garlic and onion to your meals. These foods, which complement each other nicely when cooked in almost any side dish or main course, have been shown to promote activity of the white blood cells. Onions have been shown to fight bacteria and reduce cold and bronchitis symptoms. Garlic has both antibacterial and anti-fungal properties.
3) Snack on kiwi. Kiwis are rich in vitamin C and E, which are important immune booting nutrients. Kiwi is delicious on its own or blended into a smoothie.
4) Eat pumpkin seeds. Pumpkin seeds are delicious alone, baked in bread, sprinkled over salads or other side dishes, or incorporated in a yummy trail mix. The seeds are high in zinc, which has long been known to support immune health.
5) Eat yogurt. Either dairy or non-dairy yogurts or kefir contain probiotics, which support intestinal flora. Probiotics have been shown to enhance resistance to and recovery from infection. https://www.webmd.com/food-recipes/features/benefits-yogurt#1
6) Drink plenty of water. Drinking a lot of water isn't just for the hot summers. As the weather cools, we don't feel hot or thirsty so we often neglect to properly hydrate ourselves. Drink a large glass first thing in the morning, and keep a reusable water bottle with you at all times and refill throughout the day. Proper hydration of the cells is essential for the body's natural defenses.
7) Wash your hands often. With the increase and spread of illness causing germs, ensure to wash hands thoroughly with soap and water throughout the day to remove potential risks.