Fight Back Against Colds & Flu with Good Nutrition

As temperatures begin to drop, sniffles and sneezes are on the rise. Each year, winter in Michigan brings snow and ice, as well as colds and flu. While there is no way of completely preventing the common cold, a strong immune system gives your body a fighting chance to ward off pesky germs. One of the simplest and most effective ways of ensuring your immune system is running on all gears is through good nutrition.

There is truth to the age-old saying “an apple a day keeps the doctor away”. Apples, as well as most other fruits and vegetables are high in vitamin C.  Vitamin C is a nutrient that may decrease the symptoms and duration of the common cold. There are endless ways to increase your intake of vitamin C. Add some mango chunks to your cereal in the morning, or eat a kale salad with your lunch. If budget makes it a challenge to purchase fresh produce, consider frozen or canned varieties. Frozen fruits and vegetables contain just as much vitamin C as their fresh-counterparts. This is because they are picked and frozen at their peak. Canned fruits and vegetables are another option. Look for fruits packed in water or 100% juice, and reduced-sodium vegetables to help ensure the most nutritious choice.

Last weekend I made big batch of Heirloom Squash Farrotto, recipe courtesy of bon appetit. It features butternut squash, which in addition to being an awesome source of vitamin A, contains a good amount of immune-boosting vitamin C.

risotto recipe pic

I made a few modifications to the recipe: subbing plain, non-fat Greek yogurt for whole-milk yogurt in the creamy sauce, and using ground cumin instead of cumin seeds. I doubled the recipe to make 8-main course servings. My husband and I had that down in a little over a day because it was so good!

For my clients: With my modifications taken into account, each serving was the equivalent of 3 starchy carbs and 1/2 lean protein.

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