Strengthening your Immune System & Prevention

By: Jacqueline Gomes, RDN, MBA  

Prevention is the first defense to cold and flu. A healthy immune system starts with a diet rich in fruits and vegetables,  supporting your body with vital nutrients and antioxidants. Even the slightest deficiency in these nutrients can lower your immune system defenses.

  • Wash Your Hands Often: Most viruses are spread by direct contact and airborne droplets.
  • Drink Plenty of Fluids: Water keeps the tissues of the respiratory system moist and helps the immune system function properly.
  • Exercise Regularly: 30 to 60 minutes of exercise most days of the week increases immune function.
  • Control Stress: Stress decreases your body’s immune response

 

Strengthen your immune system with the right foods!

  • Navel Oranges provide a good source of potassium for a healthy blood pressure, folic acid and an excellent source of antioxidant Vitamin C which, has been shown to help support a healthy immune system.
  • Some studies have shown that eating a daily cup of low-fat yogurt can reduce your susceptibility to colds by 25 percent.
  • Phytochemicals are natural chemical found in plants that give the vitamins in food a supercharged boost. Eat dark green, red, and yellow vegetables and fruits.
  • Eat Soup! Did you know? Chicken soup can be a cold and flu fighter! Studies have shown that chicken soup specifically can thin mucus secretions. The vegetables in soup will give a healthy dose of antioxidants to support a healthy immune system and the noodles will give you much needed energy from carbohydrate.

 


Creamsicle-Chia Parfait

a creamsicle chia parfait on the table with sliced oranges

Prep: 5 minutes

Makes: 1 Serving

Ingredients:

  • 6 ounces fat free Greek yogurt
  • ¼ cup chia seeds
  • ½ Navel orange, segmented
  • ¼ cup granola

 

Directions:

  1. Combine yogurt and chia seeds, mix well and set aside.
  2. Using a sharp paring knife, segment half of one navel orange by sliding your knife between the membrane and pulling back each layer. Cut oranges segment into thirds.
  3. Place ½ of yogurt mixture into bottom of a glass, follow with granola, ¼ of remaining yogurt mixture, oranges and lastly top oranges with left over yogurt. Enjoy cold!

 

Recipe by: Jacqueline Gomes, RDN, MBA

Image: FruitsandVeggies.org