With the weather getting cooler and people beginning to spend more time indoors, we could be facing a double or triple whammy of cold, flu and other viruses this season. We have learned that obesity and associated underlying health conditions may put added stress on your immune system, making it harder to fight off everything from the common cold or flu to a virus like COVID-19, but you can set yourself up for success with healthy eating habits, regular exercise, healthy sleep habits and reducing stress.
A low carb diet features a variety of immune-system-boosting foods that you can incorporate into your meals and snacks:
- Almonds contain high amounts of vitamin E, which help boost the immune system and stave off infection. Grab a handful for a snack or top a portion of Greek yogurt with slivered almonds and a sprinkling of blueberries.
- Beef is high in zinc and may help increase your body’s production of infection-fighting white blood cells.
- Broccoli boosts your immune system thanks to vitamins A and C and the antioxidant glutathione. Mom was right when she said eat your broccoli!
- Cabbage has nutrients that kill bacteria and improve digestion.
- Chicken soup has the reputation of being a traditional cold remedy, but it actually can help ease your symptoms, plus carnosine, a compound found in the soup, can help protect your body from the flu virus.
- Garlic has antioxidant properties that helps fight bacteria, viruses and fungi.
- Ginger can help ease nausea and vomiting, plus it’s a good source of antioxidants.
- Mushrooms feature selenium and the B vitamins riboflavin and niacin, which give a boost to your immune system
- Salmon and herring are high in omega-3 fats and may help reduce inflammation
- Tea features disease-fighting antioxidants such as polyphenols and flavonoids, which love to seek and destroy cell-damaging free radicals. Sip on a cup or two of tea to start your day or choose a non-caffeinated version for a soothing nightcap before bed.
- Turmeric has anti-inflammatory properties. You can use turmeric in curry powder and it’s also a powerful addition to tea, smoothies and many other recipes.
The following low carb recipes are not only comforting and delicious, but they have a variety of international flavors and feature valuable immune-boosting ingredients:
Baked Salmon with Chermoula Over Broccoli
Burgundy Beef Stew (AKA Boeuf Bourguignonne)
Chicken Shitake and Bok Choy Soup
Creamy Coconut Curried Chicken
Easy Low Carb Turkey Cabbage Chili
Stir-Fried Shrimp with Ginger and Mushrooms
Feel free to check out additional immune-boosting low carb recipes here.