Six Foods That’ll Boost Your Immune System

Eat — and drink — to your health this spring

By The Editors

Eat Your Way to a Better Immune System
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13 April 2016

Seasons change, but your health should remain constant.

We know that you’re eager to get outside and get moving again. But take heed, young grasshopper. Spring’s fluctuating temps and intermittent rains can easily put you back indoors with cold- and flu-like symptoms.

The solution? Eat and drink to your health.

“You can’t control what goes on outside, but you can help regulate what’s going on inside,” says nutrition expert and certified health coach Arielle Haspel. “Eating a variety of phytonutrient-dense fruits and vegetables can do wonders for digestion and immunity.”

She also recommends sprinkling some turmeric and black pepper on food for added anti-inflammatory action and an extra immune boost.

To illustrate Haspel’s delicious approach, we've compiled a list of six easy recipes built on immune-boosting wonder foods. They’ll help you stay hale and active, no matter the inevitable shifting of the tides.

Image via Boulder Locavore

The Green Zinger Smoothie
A bright and refreshing green smoothie packed with plenty of immunity-boosting wonder foods like kale, spinach, arugula, parsley, citrus and ginger, whose spicy root has been long-heralded for its anti-inflammatory and anti-nausea properties. Follow Boulder Locavore’s smoothie blending tips here.

Image via James/Flickr

Bone Broth
Bone broth is so hot right now, and for good reason: it can do wonders for your digestive tract, providing a wealth of anti-inflammatory and gut-healing proteins, healthy fats and a variety of minerals. LA-based chef and Seoultown Kitchen author Debbie Lee firmly believes in the healing power of her family’s traditional, slow-simmered brodo. “This is my grandmother’s recipe,” Lee says. “She would have tons of this in her fridge, which she’d use to make the stew, soup or noodle dish for the day. We’d often drink it like tea because it warms your tummy like an apéritif or digestif. And when your digestive tract is healthy, your whole body is healthy.”

Follow Lee’s step-by-step recipe here.

Image via Mel’s Kitchen Cafe

Spinach Salad with Sweet-Spicy Nuts, Apples, Feta and Bacon
Spinach is rich in folate, a B-vitamin known for helping your body make new cells and repair DNA. It’s also rich in fiber and vitamin C. For an optimal dosage of nutrients, try eating it raw — like in this spinach, apple, feta and bacon salad, courtesy of Mel’s Kitchen Cafe. Get the full recipe here.

Image via Boulder Locavore

Lemon-Garlic Chicken Thighs
According to certified nutrition specialist Dr. Scott Schreiber, “Garlic contains a compound called allicin, which is responsible for its medicinal properties. Allicin is antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral.” Since cooking garlic can reduce its health benefits, researchers recommend crushing garlic and letting it stand for 10 minutes before cooking — this allows time for the release of its valuable allicin.

Boulder Locavore’s lemon-garlic chicken thighs recipe calls for six cloves of garlic, but feel free to double that. Just remember to crush your garlic first. Get the full recipe here.

Image via The Roasted Root

Black Bean and Sweet Potato Enchiladas
These herbivorous enchiladas are filled with sweet potatoes, and consequently beta-carotene and vitamin A — the organic compound best known for preventing infections by preserving skin and tissue health. See how The Roasted Root chops, sautés and bakes her sweet potatoes here.

Image via Naturally Ella

Moroccan Carrot Salad with Millet
If you often fall prey to the common cold, consider adding more carrots to your diet. Rich in beta-carotene, these colorful root vegetables help the body ward off respiratory infections. For a creative spin on this everyday veg, take a tip from Naturally Ella and toss your carrots with millet, pomegranate, almonds and herbs. Get her recipe here.  

— Marion Bernstein

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