Immune Boosting Veggies for Cold and Flu Season
This is a guest post by Tammy Mahan
Now that the cold and flu season is upon us, it is more important than ever to start boosting your immune system. I think you will be rather surprised at how many vegetables have immune boosting properties that are healthy, diet friendly, and taste great!
A lot of immune boosting vegetables are ones you may only think about when you are getting ready to make a soup or a stew. These vegetables not only boost your immune system but they also make your soup or stew taste wonderful. Even if you are not a big vegetable eater, this is a great way to add vegetables to your diet.
- Garlic - Garlic is known for its medicinal properties so not only does it boost the immune system it can also help you combat a cold or flu if you do get it. The two properties that give garlic its medicinal properties are diallyl sulphides and allicin. Garlic is a powerful vegetable and a great immune booster.
- Cucumbers - Cucumbers contain a good amount of water making an ideal vegetable to prevent dehydration. They are also loaded with vitamins C and K and they are rich in potassium.
- Cabbage - Cabbage is a great vegetable for many diseases and disorders such as heart disease, Alzheimer's, eye problems, gout, arthritis and skin disorders. Cabbage is one of the few foods that have large quantities of vitamin C and vitamin is used in boosting the immune system and keeping colds and flu at bay.
- Baby Spinach - Baby spinach is great for immune health as well as weight loss and maintenance, anti-aging, heart disease, and it is known to reduce the risk of cancer by keeping the body's cells healthy.
- Celery - Celery is considered one of the world's healthiest foods and with good reason, not only does it give the body's immune system a huge boost when it is low, it keeps it in a healthy state. All you have to do is eat a celery stick a day! It is filled with antioxidants (there are more than a dozen different antioxidants in one stalk of celery), flavonoids, vitamin C, vitamin A, folate, potassium, calcium, fiber, vitamin B12, magnesium, and vitamin B5. Celery is like a multivitamin except you can actually enjoy the flavor when you eat it.
- Mushrooms - Mushrooms are all created equally when it comes to their immune boosting ability and other health benefits. A study done by The American Society of Nutrition found that white button mushrooms are the most potent - they increase immune functions by producing proteins that protect and heal damaged cells and tissue in the body. White button mushrooms are also known to increase antiviral proteins (that keep you healthy and fight viruses such as the cold and flu.)
These immune boosting vegetables are best if purchased fresh or frozen.
You will get the most benefit from them by eating them raw or steamed for 10 minutes. Steaming them for only 10 minutes will leave 86 to 99% of the nutrients intact. Boiling these vegetables will destroy almost all of their nutritional value.
Tammy Mahan has worked in the healthcare field for over 20 years. She enjoys sharing her knowledge by writing articles for Healthline.com.
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