Grocery stores right now can be a bit intense to navigate, Dr. Tanner has put together a list of Immune boosting foods to help support your immune system. With some tips on how to incorporate each of these foods in your meals.
Root vegetables have an extended shelf life in comparison to other vegetables. Onions are high in Vitamin C, fiber and anti-oxidants. Sweet potatoes offer Vitamin A. Turnips also have Vitamin C which has been shown to shorten the severity of respiratory infections. Beets can help dilate blood vessels lowering blood pressure. Other root veggies to stock up on: garlic, ginger, celeriac, carrots and rutabaga.
Purple cabbage can improve your immune defenses by stimulating the activity of white blood cells. You can shred a few strips and add to salads, coleslaw, stir fries, or make fermented foods like sauerkraut or kimchi. Fermented foods are chocked full of probiotics. These health microbes provide support for your immune system and tummy. Besides, I don’t think there is a line up of people waiting to buy cabbage!
Frozen blueberries can allow you to buy in bulk. Blueberries are rich in Vitamin C, Vitamin A, potassium, dietary fiber and mangnanese. Blueberries also have an antioxidant called flavonoids. This feature can help reduce damage to cells and boost your immune system. Add 1/2 cup to smoothies, yoghurt parfaits, breakfast foods or just as a snack on their own. I use them to make eyeballs on my kids pancakes.
Pumpkin seeds offer a source of plant based protein, zinc, and magnesium. Zinc plays a central role in the development of neutrophils and natural killer cells – crucial for ideal immune functioning. Add 2 tbsp to a trail mix or salad and spread pumpkin seed butter on toast. If you are ambitious roast the pumpkin and harvest the seeds for roasting! Add 1 cup of pumpkin puree to smoothies, pancakes and muffins for additional nutrition.
Dr. Jennifer Tanner, has a broad, evidence-based practice with a focus on sports and performance-based medicine. Being a marathon runner and having been a competitive equestrian, an active lifestyle is important. Dr. Tanner uses a variety of tools including Acupuncture and Clinical Nutrition, putting an emphasis on “food as medicine” and addressing the root causes of inflammation. In conjunction with the Integrative Health team, Dr. Tanner is thrilled to help people achieve an optimal state of health and pursue their performance based health goals!
Follow Dr. Tanner @DrJenniferTannerND