Immunity Boosting Dinners
As a recovering germaphobe this time of year always makes me a bit nervous. For instance, when I watch my daughter dive into her after school snacks without even washing her hands I have a small heart attack. “Do you have to stick your fingers into the hummus before you wash your hands?,” I’ll say. After the necessary eye roll, my daughter washes her hands like the water is laced with battery acid–darting her fingers into the stream of frigid water (why can’t she use the hot?!) and then out before I can even ask her to use soap. “There! I’m done.” In other words, I’m doomed to drown in my own mucus thanks to some God-forsaken virus. So, in the interest of self preservation, I’m having my family eat the vitamins and minerals we need to keep our immune systems humming. And you should too. (Let’s be honest, I’m suggesting you eat these dishes for me, not you. In the off-chance I run into you, I don’t want to catch anything from you. No, that’s just a joke. Kind of).
Here’s what you want to look out for in your diet:
Garlic – The allicin in this onion relative helps fight infection and bacteria.
Sweet Potato – Your body’s best defence against germs is your skin so keep your first-line of defence against bacteria and viruses strong by serving it a healthy dose of Vitamin A found in the orange veggie.
Chicken Soup – The soup’s salty broth keeps mucus thin helping with your cold symptoms, and adding garlic and onions can increase the soup’s immunity-boosting power.
Mushrooms – Our earthy friends help increase the production and activity of white blood cells making them germ fighting ninjas.
Other immunity-boosting foods include yogurt, green tea and oats and barley.
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I once spent a summer as a counselor at a sleep away camp in the Catskills. (Stay with me…this is going somewhere about kids and nutrition.) I was in charge