Food against illness!
Oh my goodness! Mid-terms, projects, papers galore. If you have been getting enough sleep, kudos to you. With fall breaks on the way, the last thing you want to do is catch that nasty lung-rattling cough attacking innocent college students. Desperate times call for desperate measures? Not so much. Your self-defense against sickness is actually available in the dining halls, the grocery stores, and other daily food stops.
Certain nutrients in the foods we eat have been found to enhance the immune system, and they're really not that hard to come by if you just make the thoughtful effort to pick them. Vitamin C is not very surprising; at least, I think that's what many of our parents drill into us growing up. (I highly recommend the Halls Sugarless Vitamin C cough drops, by the way. They are too tasty to be called medicine!) But what about these other immunity boosters?
- Vitamin E, found in nuts and whole grains (Easy breakfast: whole-grain PB toast)
- Zinc, found in beans, turkey, and beef
- Garlic (how about in your favorite Italian dishes!)
- Bioflavanoids (fancy way of saying eat your fruits and veggies)
- Selenium, found in chicken, whole grains, tuna, eggs, sunflower seeds
- Carotenoid, found in carrots and yams
- Omega-3 fatty acids, found in nuts, salmon and other fish, flaxseeds
Toss together a big bowl of leafy greens, carrots and broccoli or cauliflower, garbanzo beans (chickpeas), and you're well on your way. Top it with grilled chicken, deli turkey, or a hard-boiled egg. If you're vegetarian or vegan, add tofu or sprinkle various seeds. On the side, have a dish of fruit salad or a piece of whole fruit. That's one of the quickest ways to get the nutrients you need when you're super hungry and super busy. Before you know it, you'll be well-fed, better armed against sickness, and on your way to a restful holiday break!