As the days begin to shorten for fall, it is a great idea to boost your immune system with some extra nutrition! Reduced exposure to sunlight cuts down on your natural access to vitamin D, an important nutrient for immune function. Healthy eating can go a long way toward strengthening your body’s resistance to infection. Let’s take a look at some of the top foods for promoting a strong immune response.
The delicate flavour of salmon does more for you than make a tasty dinner. A 3-ounce serving of wild salmon has 570 IU of vitamin D and is a natural source of this vitamin. Vitamin D is also often found in dairy and non-dairy products that have been fortified during processing.
2. Citrus Fruits
As fall turns to winter, citrus fruits loaded with vitamin C come into season. Vitamin C empowers white blood cells to do their job of attacking pathogens. This fall, make sure to add oranges, grapefruit, tangerines and clementines to your weekly shopping list.
You may hardly ever hear about vitamin E, but it is an antioxidant that your immune system will appreciate. Almonds offer a great plant-based source of this vitamin, and you can fulfill your daily need for it by eating only one-half cup of these popular nuts.
4. Sweet Potatoes
Look for produce packed with beta-carotene, like sweet potatoes, to boost your immune system this fall. As an antioxidant, beta-carotene gives your body what it needs to battle inflammation and resist getting sick. A warm and hearty serving of sweet potatoes matches your cravings for comfort food as the weather turns cooler.
5. Green Leafy Vegetables
You knew this would have to be on the list for healthy eating. Broccoli, spinach, kale, cabbage and other cruciferous vegetables are packed with folate, beta-carotene, calcium, vitamin K and iron. Nutrition researchers are also discovering an important relationship between this class of vegetable and immune system stimulation within the gut.
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Whether back to school means virtual classes or packing a lunch for a busy day away from home, you have no shortage of healthy lunch ideas to choose from. Avoid those midafternoon slumps with these nutritious lunches.
1. Hummus Pita With Veggies
No one regrets having a package of pita bread on hand. Take one out, slice it in half, and you have two pockets for making a sandwich that you can eat. Fill each pita half with about 1/4 cup hummus and stuff in some alfalfa sprouts, diced tomatoes and cucumber slices.
2. Toaster Oven Tortilla Pizza
Whether you are a student preparing your meals in your dorm room or a parent homeschooling your kids, a toaster oven will be your best friend for this next easy pizza recipe. Spread some tomato sauce on a tortilla and season it with garlic powder, basil and oregano. Cover with mozzarella and any lunch meat or vegetables that are hanging out in the refrigerator. Slide into the toaster oven until cheese is melted.
3. Bacon, Lettuce and Tomato Salad
Yes, bacon can be part of healthy lunch ideas! Bacon is easy to cook ahead of time and keep on hand in the refrigerator. This salad brings together the crunchy satisfaction of the BLT sandwich but without the bread, making it a great gluten-free option. Chop the lettuce of your choice and cover with diced tomatoes and crumbled bacon. Drizzle with mayonnaise and start eating. Add avocado slices for extra nutrition.
4. Hard-boiled Eggs With String Cheese and Carrot Sticks
Meal prepping hard-boiled eggs on the weekend places high-protein snacks at your fingertips throughout the school week. Pair a hard-boiled egg with some string cheese and carrot sticks for a lunch that is easy to transport between classes.
5. Grilled Cheese and Tomato Sandwich
Use whole-wheat bread to increase your intake of fiber, magnesium and zinc and choose your preferred white or yellow cheese. Slice some tomatoes, which provide vitamin C, B vitamins and iron. Assemble the sandwiches by placing slices of cheese on both sides of the tomato in the sandwich and grill up to perfection.
At Famous Foods, you can stock up on the fresh produce, fine cheeses, ethically sourced meats, over 1,000 bulk foods and bakery items that you need for back to school lunches. Visit our store in Vancouver today, for all your ingredients!
Incorporating more seafood into your diet is one of the best ways to ensure healthy eating when consuming many of your meals. Salmon, shellfish and other creatures of the sea are known to contain rich amounts of certain vitamins and nutrients that are lacking in many other foods. By eating more seafood, you can enjoy these five great health benefits.
1. Reduced Inflammation
The omega-3 fatty acids that are found in salmon, herring and other types of fish can help reduce inflammation throughout your body. Inflammation that’s caused by an injury or illness can leave you feeling more pain, and eating fish that’s plentiful in these acids can offer you relief. The reduction in inflammation may also help your body heal faster.
2. Lowers the Risk for Cardiovascular Problems
Consuming more food from the sea in your diet may help decrease your risk of developing cardiovascular problems. Omega-3 fatty acids are known to reduce heart disease risks and may prevent a heart attack. The chances of experiencing a stroke also lower when more fish is consumed.
3. Better Brain Health
Healthy eating is also linked to better brain health, and consuming more fish is a great way to boost your brain functioning. The docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) in fish is crucial for better brain development. Pregnant women can help their growing babies’ brains develop better by eating more sardines and trout that are high in DHA but low in mercury.
4. Better Eye Health
The high levels of omega-3 fatty acids that fish and other seafood contain can help you maintain a better vision for the long term. The part of the retina that extends to the back of the eye can become stronger when more food from the sea is eaten. The condition known as dry eye can also be prevented by eating more of this type of food.
5. Decreased Depression and other Mental Health Problems
In addition to your physical health, eating more seafood is one of the best ways to improve your mental health. The omega-3 fatty acids can help combat many of the effects of depression. This food may further help reduce feelings of depression, anxiety and general unease by increasing your energy levels and helping you stay motivated.
Seafood can work wonders for your health when you make it a regular part of your diet. Famous Foods carries great quality fish that is both wild caught and sustainably sourced. Learn more by visiting www.famousfoods.ca.
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