Harsh winter weather can increase stress on our immune systems in a number of different ways. The human immune system is comprised of many different types of cells, all of which need certain nutrients to operate properly. Here are some foods to add into to your diet that can support a healthy immune system:

Fermented Foods:  These foods contain probiotics, helpful microorganisms that can assist in maintaining the health of the digestive tract. Various studies have suggested that probiotics can help get rid of harmful bacteria in the gut. Because probiotics are alive, fermented food works best when they also contain fuel for the probiotics, known as prebiotics. Here are some ideas for foods that contain both probiotics and prebiotics:

  • Yogurt and Fruit (or compote?)
  • Kimchi
  • Sauerkraut

Tahini:  This paste made from ground sesame seeds is a good source of zinc.  This mineral is involved in many different areas of an immune response.  Zinc assists every cell in multiplying and communicating with each other.  Tahini’s rich consistency can add a dairy-free creamy kick to sauces and salad dressings.

Mushrooms:  Researchers have investigated several different varieties of edible mushroom for their immune-enhancing properties. Some experiments have shown that white button, shiitake, maitake, and oyster mushrooms help regulate a healthy immune response. The earthy flavor of these palatable fungi lends itself well to soups and stews.

This article is a reprint of a post I wrote for Sound Integrated Health News.

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