6 Immunity-Boosting Foods

If you are looking for a way to boost your immunity so you don’t have to worry about fighting off so many colds and germs, you may need to take a look at your diet. Certain foods have the power to heal your body and can do some amazing things for your health. If you are ready to start experiencing the magic of foods, here are some tips just for you.

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Photo Credit: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apple

1. Apples
At this point in your life, you should be familiar with the phrase “An apple a day keeps the doctor away.” This is not just a popular saying, it is true. Many studies have been done throughout the years to prove that apples can have a significant and positive effect on your health. Don’t stop at eating apples, add more fruits into your diet like grapes, oranges, bananas, kiwis, blueberries, and strawberries.

2. Garlic
Garlic is not just a tasty vegetable, it is also a spice that can be used to liven up the blandest of meals. When eaten regularly, you can increase your immunity with it because it makes it possible for your body to produce natural killer cells faster. Killer cells are what your body uses to help fight off diseases and germs. Add more garlic into your diet to enjoy better immunity all year, especially during the colder months when viruses and the flu tend to run rampant.

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Photo Credit: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chicken_soup

3. Chicken Noodle Soup
This comfort food has been used for centuries as a cure-all for the common cold and other ailments. Chicken noodle soup has scientifically been proven to help boost immunity, especially in times of stress. Its health properties enable it to stop inflammatory white cells from accumulating and moving throughout your body. Inflammatory white cells can lead to respiratory issues, such as bronchitis and colds. The soup also helps to thin out the mucous in your nasal passages to relieve congestion so you can breathe easier.

4. Tea
Certain teas are full of antioxidants that help your body to fight off free radicals and other toxic, cancer-causing agents. Black, green, and other types of teas can also help your body to fight off viruses. Of course, you’ll need to drink several cups of tea each day to enjoy those benefits.

5. Probiotics
Contrary to what you believe, all bacteria is not harmful to your health. Probiotics are a healthy kind of bacteria that are normally found in your digestive system. Since your body contains both good and bad types of bacteria, you’ll need to work on maintaining a good balance. Probiotics are not just inside of your body, they can also be found in certain foods and supplements.
Your digestive system plays an important role in your immune system. It is responsible for breaking down, processing, and absorbing nutrients from the foods you eat. When the number of bad bacteria overtake the amount of good kind, you may start to experience poor digestive health, weight gain, lack of energy, and a whole host of issues that indicate your immune system and digestive health is off track. Prevent these issues from happening by eating a fair amount of dairy products, such as Hamptoncreek yogurts, cheese, and other plant-based foods.

6. Seafood
Wild caught fish, such as salmon, sardines, and tuna are loaded with protein and omega-3 fatty acids. These nutrients can work wonders for your immune system. The protein helps to provide your body with a good source of fuel and the fatty acids help to protect your cells against damage and disease. It is important for you to understand that all fish and seafood are not the same. While it is okay for you to load up on salmon and tuna, you should try to steer clear of fish that is raised locally and on farms.
There are plenty of foods that you can use to boost your immune system’s function. Depending on your health, it may be necessary for you to take supplements to get the level of nutrients you need to enjoy good health. Before you rush out to purchase anything, check with your doctor and make sure you research supplement manufacturers first. Don’t forget to double check the dosage amounts. Even though you may resort to using supplements, they should not be used as a substitute for real food. You should try to get everything you need from your diet first, before you resort to the use of supplements to get the nutrients you are lacking.

Anne

I'm a mother of 2 who likes to get involved in too much! Besides writing here I started a non-profit, I'm on the PTO board, very active in my community and volunteer in the school. I enjoy music, reading, cooking, traveling and spending time with my family. We just adopted our 3rd cat and love them all!

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Become A Steak Masterchef: Getting To Grips With Doneness

Life is full of little culinary pleasures, and we all have our own preferences for what they are and how they are prepared. We all have our own tastes. More seasoning for a bit of a kick, or less seasoning to let the natural flavour come through. Potatoes? Yes, but what kind? Baked, roasted, mashed, fried? Just thinking about it can make you hungry.

For many of us, the finest meal around is a good steak. You have the perfect recipe, now you just need something to go with it. As anyone who has spent long enough shopping for the right one will know, the quality of steaks can vary somewhat. When preparing them for a dinner party, it can be a nightmare in itself. One person prefers sirloin while another favors rump steak. One person likes a lot of seasoning while another wants just a dusting of salt and pepper. And then how well do they want them cooked?

London_broil

 

Image From: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steak

The spectrum of different ways to cook steak runs from blue to well done. And how you like your steak, in some people’s opinion, says a lot about you. Do you like it just about seared and bloody in the middle, or brown right through with the merest hint of juice? It’s a minefield.

“Barely Cooked At All, Thank You”

In some social circles, the less cooked your steak is, the more of a “man” you are. It comes from the caveman days, when early man would eat meat just about raw. In France, some people joke that steak is cooked by walking it briskly through a hot room. And we know how seriously the French take their cooking! “Blue” steaks, which are almost not cooked at all, retain a lot of the flavour of the meat, but aren’t for the squeamish.

“Medium Rare, And A Hint Of Blood”

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Image Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Doneness

Overall probably the most popular way of serving steak, the medium rare gives the best of both worlds. A satisfying texture with a lot of flavor, and if the seasoning is just right it is a taste explosion. It’s a tricky one to get right: cook it too little and it’s chewy, too long and it’s stringy. Remember presentation as well- there’s no point going to all that effort if it doesn’t look delicious! Go for a small square plate so it’s the focus or serve it on SteakStones serving sets – have their taste buds excited even before they take a bite!

“I Want It Incinerated, Please!”

Some people like their steak cooked so that it is practically black on the outside and brown right the way through. Others will argue that this makes the steak a lot less flavorful, and they do have a point. There is certainly more flavor in a steak that has not been cooked for as long. But the key point here is that it’s a matter of personal taste. It’s easy to understand why some people don’t want to see blood in what they’re eating. And a good steak cooked well done is still pretty nice.

How you enjoy your steak is entirely up to you. One piece of advice if you are cooking for a lot of people is to ask everyone how they like theirs. Cook the rarer ones first, as the implement for cooking will get hotter and cook quicker as it goes along. Don’t cook them all to your taste – everyone has their own preference, after all.

Anne

I'm a mother of 2 who likes to get involved in too much! Besides writing here I started a non-profit, I'm on the PTO board, very active in my community and volunteer in the school. I enjoy music, reading, cooking, traveling and spending time with my family. We just adopted our 3rd cat and love them all!

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The Differences Between Non-Mineral and Mineral Sunscreen

IMG_3071Not having any sunscreen can turn a fun family day outside at the park or beach into a nightmare situation. Don’t tarnish what is likely to become a great memory with loved ones by not using the right kind of sunscreen. But with so many varieties it’s easy to get lost in all the terms and jargon. The topic has even been brought to the national stage, with President Obama signing the Sunscreen Innovation Act in 2014 to help bring more safe UV-regulated ingredients to the public.

 

There are two main types of sunscreen to familiarize yourself with: non-mineral and mineral sunscreen. This article is going to go over the pros and cons of both varieties to help you make an informed decision regarding the future of your skincare.

 

Non-Mineral (Chemical) Sunscreen

Typically, you will find anywhere from two to six of the following active ingredients inside non-mineral sunscreen: octisalate, avobenzone, homosalate, oxybenzone, octocrylene, and octinoxate. These ingredients absorb rays as part of a chemical reaction that dissipates the heat off the skin.

 

              UV Protection:  There is no evidence to support that Sun Protection Factor (SPF), higher than 50, is correlated to better protection against UV rays in any substantive way. For example, a sunscreen with a SPF of 50 may guarantee protection for up to five hours, but that doesn’t mean that a SPF of 100 will protect you for 10 hours.  In fact, an SPF of 50 will block about 98 percent of UVB rays, while 100 SPF will block a mere 1 percent more for a total of 99 percent.

 

Ingredient Safety: It’s hard to make any meaningful distinctions between the active chemicals in sunscreens, if you don’t happen to have a master’s degree in chemistry. What does the layperson know about these ingredients and what they mean? What is the real difference between avobenzone and oxybenzone? For starters, oxybenzone was gifted an 8 out of 10 hazard rating by the Environmental Working Group (EWG) on account of its skin penetration, hormone disruption and allergy problems.

 

Instead, the EWG suggests avobenzone, which has a much lower hazard rating, comparable with more mineral-based solutions, like zinc oxide and titanium dioxide.

 

 

 

 

Mineral Sunscreen

Mineral sunscreens will contain active mineral ingredients, such as zine oxide and titanium dioxide. Instead of using chemical-based reactions to deflect the sun, they function more as a mirror to reflect the harmful UV rays away from exposed skin.

 

UV Protection: The whole point of sunscreen is to protect yourself and your loved ones from harmful UV rays. In that regard, mineral options take the cake according to the EWG – in particular, zinc oxide delivers the best broad-spectrum coverage (defends against both UVA and UVB rays).

 

Ingredient Safety: Traditionally, mineral sunscreens are gentler on skin than their chemical counterparts. Although, just because it is mineral-based, does not mean that it’s altogether harmless. Avoid titanium dioxide in its spray form, as the EWG reports higher levels of toxicity when it is inhaled.

 

It is important to wear sunscreen every day, but not just sunscreen – protective hats and sunglasses will also help limit exposure to harmful UV rays. With the right protection and a little bit of care, you can soak up the sun’s rays while still staying safe.

Anne

I'm a mother of 2 who likes to get involved in too much! Besides writing here I started a non-profit, I'm on the PTO board, very active in my community and volunteer in the school. I enjoy music, reading, cooking, traveling and spending time with my family. We just adopted our 3rd cat and love them all!

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