Delicious and Healthy at Home

Nutrition expert Kara Burnstine prepares a meal with immune-boosting benefits

Ginger chicken stir fry with health-boosting benefits

One thing I have noticed for sure during this COVID-19 craze is that people are very focused on food. Will we have enough of what we need? Are we emotionally eating junk food? Remember: Food is medicine! We can fill our bodies with nutrients that fight all kinds of infections, bacteria, and viruses. So here, find a quick list of foods you should be eating now and always and later a way to prepare all these immune-boosting ingredients into a delicious health-happy dish.

Kara Burnstine is a Registered Dietitian and Certified Diabetes Educator in Miami, FL.

1. Citrus Fruits — such as oranges, tangerines, lemons, limes, clementines and grapefruit — contain Vitamin C, thought to increase the production of white blood cells. These are key to fighting infections. Interestingly enough, our bodies do not store or produce vitamin C, so we need to get it from our food supply.

2. Red bell peppers because ounce for ounce, they contain twice as much Vitamin C as citrus. They’re also a rich source of beta carotene. Besides boosting your immune system, vitamin C may help maintain healthy skin. Those deep reds really pack a punch for your immune system.

3. Broccoli is loaded with vitamins and minerals. Packed with vitamins A, C, and E, which are our powerhouse antioxidants that fight all kinds of infections. Let’s not forget, broccoli is a good source of fiber and is considered one of the healthiest vegetables you can put on your table. The key to keeping its nutrients intact is to cook it as little as possible (steam, roast)- or better yet, eat it in the raw.

4. Garlic is found in almost every cuisine around the globe. It adds great flavor to food and it’s a must-have for your health. Garlic’s immune-boosting properties seem to come from a heavy concentration of sulfur-containing compounds, such as allicin. Just know it’s good for you!

5. Ginger is a strong antioxidant that has been shown to naturally boost the immune system. It contains tons of vitamins, some of which are magnesium, iron, zinc, and calcium. Ginger helps kill cold viruses and has been said to combat chills and fever.
Ginger may help decrease inflammation which is helpful with any kind of inflammatory illnesses. How about some ginger tea?

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