What you choose to eat matters to your health. Every system in your body requires certain nutrients for proper support, and a nutrient-rich diet is the best way to ensure your body gets what it needs. It takes a great deal of energy to maintain proper immune system function.
With the right nutrients, you can better support these defenses. Getting these nutrients is easy and can be delicious too. Here are a few recipes that deliver immune-supporting nutrients and happy taste buds in every bite.
There is a reason that soup is a go-to when the body needs to fight off seasonal threats. The warmth is comforting, and you can pack in a ton of nutrients in every bowl. One of the most powerful ingredients you can add to soup when your immune system needs a little extra support is ginger.
The phenolic compounds in ginger can help reduce occasional oxidative stress and aberrant immune system responses. Ginger also supports proper respiratory health, and can help dry out excess mucus and assist its removal before too much is built up in the chest.
Ginger & Carrot Soup
2 chopped onions
6 cups chicken broth
1 cup whipping cream
2 pounds carrots, sliced
2 tablespoons grated fresh ginger
2 tablespoons sweet cream butter
Salt and white pepper
Parsley sprigs (garnish)
1. In a pan, over medium-high heat, add butter and onions and cook, stirring often, until onions are tender. Add broth, carrots, and ginger.
2. Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until carrots are tender.
3. Remove from heat and transfer to a blender.
4. Don't fill the blender more than halfway, so do it in batches if you have to.
5. Pulse the blender to start, and then puree until smooth.
6. Return to the pan and add cream, stir over high heat until hot.
7. For a smoother flavor, bring soup to a boil, add salt and pepper, to taste.
8. Pour into bowls and garnish with parsley sprigs.
You can also promote your immune system’s ability to defend yourself from occasional seasonal threats with this lemon chicken soup.
Chicken doesn’t have to be in soup to be beneficial. Packed with protein, any type of chicken helps support T-cell production, and when T-cell populations are healthy, the immune system flourishes.
Adding the essential nutrients and cleansing compounds found in spinach to your meal only further supports immune responses. In addition, spinach offers vitamin C and vitamin E, which help reduce occasional oxidative stress and promote T-cell activity.
Quercetin, a potent flavonoid in spinach, can also support the body’s protective response to environmental threats.
Skillet Lemon Chicken With Spinach
½ teaspoon pepper
4 cloves garlic, minced
½ cup dry white wine
1 teaspoon cornstarch
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 cup diced red bell pepper
8 teaspoons grated Parmesan cheese
1 medium lemon, juiced
10 cups baby spinach
½ teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons olive oil
1. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
2. Add chicken, bell pepper, salt, and pepper.
3. Cook, occasionally stirring, until the chicken is just cooked through, 7 to 9 minutes.
4. Add garlic and cook, stirring until fragrant, about 1 minute.
5. Whisk wine and cornstarch together in a measuring cup.
6. Add to the pan along with the lemon juice and zest. Stir to coat, then bring to a simmer.
7. Add spinach by the handful and cook, stirring until wilted, about 2 minutes more.
8. Sprinkle with Parmesan and serve.
For a vegetarian option to get powerful immune-supporting nutrients, try this delicious eggplant lasagna recipe.
Just because something is sweet doesn’t mean it’s bad for you. You can satisfy your sweet tooth and still get nutrients that support immune health. Berries contain a type of flavonoid called anthocyanin, which has powerful cleansing properties. A clinical study found that flavonoids like this help support the respiratory tract and immune function. With every berry helping promote immune cell function, there is no need to feel guilty with this delicious treat.
Mixed Berry Muffins
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup Greek yogurt
½ cup extra light olive oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ cup strawberries, diced
½ cup raspberries
½ cup blueberries
2 large eggs
¼ teaspoon sea salt
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1. Line a 12-count muffin tin with cupcake liners and preheat the oven to 400˚F.
2. In a bowl, beat 2 eggs with 1 cup granulated sugar on high speed for 5 minutes.
3. Add 1 cup Greek yogurt, ½ cup oil, 1 teaspoon vanilla.
4. Set the mixer to low speed and mix until combined.
5. In a small bowl, whisk 2 cups flour, 2 teaspoons baking powder, and ¼ teaspoon salt.
6. Using a handheld whisk, add flour mixture into the batter ⅓ at a time.
7. Use a spatula to fold in 1 ½ cups mixed berries, folding until combined.
8. Divide batter into muffin tin, filling each to the top.
9. Bake in the center of the oven at 400˚F for 20-22 minutes or until the tops are golden.
10. Serve warm or at room temperature.
A balanced diet is essential for promoting optimal immune health. Certain foods contain nutrients to support immune cell activity and healthy responses to occasional environmental threats.
In addition to diet, the popular supplements, ImmunityMD® and BreatheMD®, provide essential nutrients and ingredients that help promote immune cell function and respiratory health.
ImmunityMD® is a doctor-formulated supplement developed to support a healthy immune system response.
♦ A probiotic blend that includes L. rhamnosus and L. acidophilus supports the gut’s ability to absorb nutrients and defend against everyday harm.
♦ Nutraflora® Prebiotics helps support healthy bacterial production in the gut, which is the root of immune system strength.
♦ L-lysine helps reduce everyday stress and soothe away tensions.
♦ Zinc supports immune cell activity and the body’s ability to respond to common problems.
BreatheMD® was scientifically formulated to promote broad-spectrum immune, respiratory, and lung health, using a traditional herb and powerful botanicals, vitamins, minerals, and an amino acid.
♦ African geranium supports upper respiratory tract function and helps sustain the immune system to fight off seasonal threats.
♦ L-cysteine promotes glutathione production, an antioxidant enzyme that helps maintain healthy mucus thickness and fix common tissue harms.
♦ Elderberries help reduce occasional oxidative stress and promote the body’s recovery rate.
♦ Vitamin E supports T-cell production to promote optimal immune responses.
♦ Vitamin C promotes epithelial cell health, which serves as a physical barrier to keep environmental harm out.
♦ Vitamin D3 encourages the activity of molecules that support healthy lung tissue.
♦ Marshmallow root is a naturally occurring mucilage that helps support the respiratory tract’s normal moisture levels.
♦ Chromium and zinc both work to support immune cell production and activity.
The nutrients your immune system needs must come from food, so a daily routine that includes a balanced diet along with exercise and stress management is the best way to promote optimal immune system function. These nutrient-rich recipes are a delicious place to start, and for some extra support, add 1MD Nutrition’s immune supplements to your health routine. The path to comprehensive immune support starts here.
Dr. Brian Greenberg
Dr. Brian Greenberg is an immunologist, allergist, and pediatrician who received his medical degree from the University of Florida, and completed his residency and fellowship at UCLA. He has practiced medicine in Southern California for almost 25 years.