Living a zen lifestyle includes food choices. Food is essential to our body to work optimally and here we take a look at organic food and health benefits. We get most of the nutrients and antioxidants we need from fruits and vegetables. That said, you need to ensure that you have a diet that includes as many fruits and vegetables to get the nutrients and antioxidants that will help strengthen your immune system. That would mean a diet that contains vitamin E, vitamin D, and selenium.
These are rarely found in processed food (unless enriched), and your body has more chances of absorbing what it needs when you eat fresh whole foods. Leafy greens, nuts, citrus fruits are all excellent choices of foods that are high in nutrients and antioxidants that are known to boost your immune system.
Here’s a list of food and health facts and you can click here to read about some recipe ideas. You will want to have these on your weekly grocery list.
Brazil nuts are at the top of our list because it is one of the most reliable sources of selenium. Selenium is a powerful antioxidant and is one of the essential minerals for our health and immunity. Just one nut can provide up to 96 micrograms (mcg), which is already above the daily recommendation. The daily intake recommendation is 55 micrograms of selenium for an adult.
Since yogurt contains live culture (or probiotics), it is a great way to help us fight bacteria by bringing good bacteria in the body and help improve digestion. Kefir is also another option that brings as many benefits to our gut.
Fish and, more specifically, tuna is an excellent source of selenium. One ounce of tuna can provide around 30 mcg of selenium. Other fish and seafood are usually between 12 mcg and 20 mcg of selenium per ounce. Salmon is also a good choice to help the immune system. It contains a lot of “healthy fat” (omega-3), which is known to strengthen the immune system and reduce the risks of heart disease.
I mentioned the benefits of lentils on a healthy immune system in my earlier post. You can click here to read it. If you eat a vegan or vegetarian diet, lentils are a great substitute to fish. One cup of lentils can provide around 6 mcg of selenium. They are also a good source of immune-boosting nutrients, fiber, and protein.
Most cruciferous vegetables have phytonutrients that can help boost the immune system. Broccoli is rich in antioxidant vitamins, and one serving contributes to a third of the daily intake recommended for vitamin A.
Not only does carrot contain vitamins A, B, C, and E, it also contains zinc. Zinc is known to be an essential mineral for the health of our immune system. If the body is deficient in nutrients like zinc, it weakens the immune system and makes viruses stronger.
Spinach is a significant source of vitamin C but also contains vitamin E. It is essential to keep it raw to ensure that you get all the nutrients from it. You can add it to a salad or a sandwich, but my favorite is using this tasty vegetable to make an egg omelet.
As mentioned previous post which you can click here to read, garlic is a vegetable that has a similar effect on our immune system as zinc. It is a very versatile food and it makes food taste great while releasing it’s healing properties.
Sweet potatoes are one of my favorite foods because, in addition to being healthy, they are tasty any way you choose to cook them. I love to make baked potato fries, jacket potatoes, or steamed potatoes.
They are very filling due to the amount of fiber content.
I also love to make vegetable potage with sweet potatoes. This is a combination of sweet potatoes with other vegetables such as spinach, kale, carrots, garlic, and onions. It makes a great ‘all in one pot’ meal, and it is a great way to get children to get the nutrients they need to grow up strong and healthy.
If you are trying to increase your intake of vitamin A, sweet potato is the one ingredient you need. One serving contains more than three times the daily recommendation of vitamin A and is also full of other good antioxidants.
Most people are aware that citrus fruits are full of vitamin C. Vitamin C is critical to the immune system. Its consummation recommendation is 75 mg to 90 mg a day. Just add sliced lemon to your water, which will provide around 50% of the daily intake. You can also eat grapefruit or orange with your breakfast. This breakfast will be the other half of your consumption for the day.
The watermelon is also full of immune-boosting nutrients. It’s an excellent source of potassium (which helps regulate the body functions), vitamin A and vitamin C.
Since pomegranates contain a great variety of antioxidants, it is a great choice to cover many nutrients that we need. It is known to have anti-inflammatory proprieties and therefore help us with immunity.
Many of you have probably heard of the benefits of turmeric. Spicy food and health are inter-related. Recently, turmeric has become a popular supplement, but it is even better if you can add it as an ingredient to your recipes.
My main focus is on how this spice can be used in foods to help create a healthy meal. Turmeric is the spice that gives curry its yellow color. It has been used in India for thousands of years as a spice and medicinal herb. In addition to being a tasty spice to use in curries and other recipes, it can also be brewed with tea for a refreshing drink.
Curcumin is the main active ingredient in turmeric. It has powerful anti-inflammatory effects and is a very strong antioxidant.
Turmeric and especially its most active compound curcumin have many scientifically-proven health benefits, such as the potential to prevent heart disease, Alzheimer’s, and cancer.
Mushrooms are a type of fungus that can help stimulate the immune system. The Reishi mushroom and the Agarikon mushrooms are two mushrooms that have been studied and show an impact on our immune system.
Studies show that the Reishi mushroom can interfere with a virus and reduce its ability to attach to our cells to multiply.
The Agarikon mushroom has the anti-inflammatory quality and can also be an antibacterial agent.
The foods recommended above are ingredients that you can add to your meals. Hopefully, you will find these food and health tips useful. I have attempted to bring some organic food and health benefits to our attention.
Feel free to make a salad with spinach, add some lentils and sunflower seeds. You could also make a homemade citrus dressing for it (only add orange juice to olive oil).
You will also find more recipe ideas in future posts. Go ahead and feel free to share and comment, I will be sure to respond.
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