This is the recipe issue without the recipes! Just some great ideas for snacks that will support the immune system during the colder months when we’re spending more time indoors. Easy and delicious.
Love to know if you try any of these, or if you have recipes and ideas to share!
Have you been apple picking this month? Not only are apples in season, but they also contain quercetin, a phytonutrient or plant compound that has antioxidant activity. “These compounds support the immune system by helping the body balance inflammation and keeping your gut healthy,” says Foroutan, and research shows gut health plays a role in immune function. Pumpkin seeds are rich in zinc and magnesium, minerals that act “as the cofactors for so many of the chemical reactions in our body that we require to stay healthy,” she adds. You can buy pumpkin seed butter online (it’s similar in consistency to nut butter) or make your own by whirling roasted pumpkin seeds in a blender until smooth.
Prep (or buy) butternut squash slices to reheat and enjoy through the week. Simply cut the squash into slices (discarding any seeds), brush with oil and bake them at 425°F (218°C) for 40 minutes. “Butternut squash contains carotenoids, a phytonutrient that our body converts to the antioxidant vitamin A,” says Foroutan. You can boost the antioxidant value of these fries even more — while jazzing up the flavor — by tossing them in avocado oil and antioxidant-rich herbs and spices such as ground coriander or cumin. Idea: dip into greek yogurt!
A cup (150g) of red bell pepper slices contains twice the vitamin C of an orange. Vitamin C supports the immune system by strengthening the skin’s barrier (your first defense against pathogens) and eliminating free radicals that damage cells (and allow viruses a foothold). Research also shows vitamin C helps decrease the occurrence, severity and duration of colds. For a well-rounded and satiating snack, pair veggies with hummus, which is high in zinc
Crunchy and slightly spicy radishes are full of antioxidants and a good source of vitamin C. Guacamole is made with avocados, which contain vitamin E, another free-radical quenching nutrient.