Chilly winds mean winter is coming. Coats and sweaters can keep us warm on the outside. A little help on the "inside" can fight off those runny-nose colds and even the flu. Our bodies have active immune systems that fight off all kinds of infections. In the winter, we just need to give our bodies a little help so they can work better.
Getting enough vitamin C each day is an easy way to start. Our bodies can't store vitamin C, so we need to eat some every day! Never mind buying extra vitamins, you can boost your immune system naturally by eating a couple of these tasty fruits and veggies:
- Citrus fruit is everyone's favorite for vitamin C. Oranges, tangerines, lemons, limes and clementines can give you your daily dose, but you need to eat 2 of them or drink an 8-ounce glass of juice.
- Peppers are powerful! Red Peppers have three times as much vitamin C as citrus and also great for your skin. ½ cup of chili peppers gives you twice the vitamin C! Green peppers are not as good as red, but still have twice as much vitamin C as citrus.
- Cauliflower, broccoli and brussel sprouts are low in calories, with more than twice as much vitamin C as citrus. They also contain fiber to help your body run smoothly.
- Pineapple, mango, papaya and guava all give you a super dose of vitamin C with a sweet juicy taste.
Vitamin C isn't the only immune system aid. Yogurt, almonds, kiwis, kale, turmeric and green tea all help your immune system and help keep you healthy. Stop the cold before it starts. Make sure you use one of these "cold-fighters" every day.
Chicken & Broccoli Stir-Fry
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces
- 1 bunch broccoli, chopped into small florets, stem discarded
- 1/2 red pepper thinly sliced
- 1/2 cup thinly sliced green onions
- 3 Tbsp reduced-sodium soy sauce
- 2 Tbsp rice vinegar
- 2 Tbsp honey
- 1 Tbsp cornstarch
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1/2 tsp ground ginger
- 1 tsp sesame oil
- Heat 1 Tbsp of olive oil in skillet.
- Add cut-up chicken.
- Season with salt and pepper.
- Cook for 5 mins until chicken is brown and cooked.
- Stir occasionally.
- Make the sauce while the chicken is cooking.
- Add 1 Tbsp of olive oil, broccoli and red pepper to chicken.
- Stir to combine.
- Cool until broccoli is bright green.
- Add the sauce and cook until the mixture thickened.
Cold Fighting Tips
Beating Those Colds
Figure out what you need: Give yourself a quick "test". For two weeks write down what vitamin C fighters you eat every day. You may surprise yourself! Then figure out how to add the little bit you are missing.
- Almost all of the fruits mentioned will make your meals tastier. Try oranges with chicken or tangelos with pork.
- Garlic makes everything tastier.
- Toss extra red pepper, broccoli or cauliflower into soups or stews.
- Snack on an orange or a clementine, whichever is in season.
- Add some kale to your smoothie.
- Add yogurt on your cereal for breakfast.
- Nibble on almonds or chop them into rice.
You can stop a cold with just a couple of quick, really tasty additions to your food!
If you get a cold, especially one with a sour throat, try tea made from ginger root or soothing green tea and double up on your C's.
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