Food provides your body with nutrients. Nutrients instruct your body how to function and give you the energy you need to get through the day. When you eat the right foods, you can boost your overall health. I believe, it's our responsibility to learn how food affects our body. What foods should you eat to boost your health this holiday season? These are some of my favorites and I encourage you to keep this short list on hand during your next trip to the grocery store. Then, use these foods in your diet and take charge of your health.
Why is garlic so good for you? When garlic is crushed or chopped, it releases allicin, a natural medicinal ingredient that strengthens your immune system, increases blood flow and boots overall wellness. Want to serve up garlic for lunch or dinner? Try this Caprese salad! Crush 3 garlic cloves, mix with 1 T. olive oil and drizzle over sliced tomatoes and fresh mozzarella. Add basil, salt and pepper to taste.
Did you know sweet potatoes have anti-aging benefits, anti-carcinogenic properties and reduce stress? Sweet potatoes are also an excellent source of vitamins A, C and E to help support a healthy immune system. Roast, mash or bake your sweet potatoes and enjoy this whole-body vegetable.
Kale (or Spinach)
One serving of kale gives you 907% of your daily recommendation of vitamin K, a nutrient needed for bone protection and clotting. Kale also has protein, calcium, four times the amount of vitamin C and more vitamin A (vs. spinach). Spinach, on the other hand has more folic acid and is an excellent choice for pregnant women or those trying to conceive. Add these greens to your breakfast burrito, lunch salad or sauté with garlic and serve for dinner.
Yogurt (Or Kefir)
Yogurt and kefir are packed with probiotics and are considered superfoods. Probiotics support healthy digestion, weight loss and boosts the immune system. Probiotics help keep the digestive track free of disease-causing bacteria (in adults) and when added to formula, infants had fewer days with fever, antibiotic prescriptions and doctor visits. Top off your favorite yogurt or kefir with berries and nuts and supercharge your food!
Beans are a plant-based source of iron and rich in fiber. Iron is needed to oxygenate your cells and tissues and is necessary for proper development of the human body. Fiber helps you feel full and move food through your digestive track for healthy elimination. When you eat plant-based iron, consider pairing it with vitamin C rich foods (like sweet potatoes) or add a splash of citric juice for better absorption.
Moms, when you incorporate garlic, sweet potatoes, kale (or spinach), yogurt (or kefir) and beans to your diet, your body will promote a strong immune system. Start fueling your body and see how you can boost your overall health this holiday season.