No matter how frequently you wash your hands or disinfect your workspace, winter colds can happen to the best of us. Cleanliness is only half the battle; maintaining a healthy diet is another excellent way to fight sickness and keep your immune system strong.
Don’t let a cold or the flu slow you down this winter! Add these seven immune system boosting foods to your low carb diet for winter snacks and meals that will help keep you healthy and fight germs all season long:
- Garlic – Garlic acts as an antioxidant by decreasing your chances of catching a winter cold and lowering the likelihood of contracting certain cancers such as stomach, colon and breast cancer. It’s a healthy, zesty way to flavor almost any meal. Snack on this spiced garlic spread that can also double as an easy appetizer when entertaining.
- Fish –Salmon and herring are high in healthy omega-3 fats that can help reduce inflammation and protect against colds. Broiled salmon with a maple-mustard glaze makes a filling weeknight dinner while smoked salmon, cucumber and cream cheese roll-ups are great for a holiday party spread.
- Tea –Drinking several cups of green or chamomile tea a day will provide healthy immune boosting amino acids like L-theanine that can help your body stay healthy. Drink a mug of tea with your favorite winter snacks and keep your immune system strong.
- Beef – Beef is high in zinc, an essential mineral that helps increase your body’s production of infection-fighting white blood cells. Whether you warm up with southeast Asian beef soup or enjoy a light roast beef and mixed greens salad for lunch, incorporating lean beef into your winter diet is a low carb way to stay healthy.
- Chicken Soup – Chicken soup’s hydrating and anti-inflammatory properties, especially its carnosine compound, are famous for easing cold and flu symptoms. Make this easy chicken broth as a base, then add shredded chicken and your favorite vegetables for a comforting and immune system boosting meal.
- Cabbage – Cabbage has a multitude of health benefits, from strengthening immune systems and improving digestion to killing bacteria and fighting cancer. This kielbasa and cabbage soup is perfect for a chilly night, or try topping your favorite sandwiches with a classic coleslaw.
- Mushrooms – Mushrooms are high in selenium, which is effective at combating flu symptoms. Try eggs scrambled with mushrooms and zucchini for a healthy low carb breakfast, or add some mushrooms to your cheeseburger for a hearty lunch.
These immune system boosting foods are delicious ways to keep your body fueled and healthy this season. Browse through Atkins’ free recipe database and get inspiration for other sickness-fighting low carb winter snacks, meals and desserts today!