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Recipes That Will Boost Your Immune System

By: Emily Dawson
Mar 4, 2021 • 6 min read

Recipes That Will Boost Your Immune System – Let’s Get Cooking!

There are a couple of ways you can boost your immune system. You can make sure you are getting enough sleep, exercising daily, and nourishing your body with yummy & healthy foods. In this blog, we will focus on recipes to boost your immune system. Now more than ever, it is crucial to take care of yourself and stay healthy!

white wooden cabinet

Vitamins – Let’s Break it Down!

Vitamins play a big role in protecting and running the immune system. Here, we will explore the different properties of vitamins before jumping into some tasty recipes!

A: Vitamin A promotes the maturation of immune cells and vision and protects your body’s outer layer. Vitamin A regulates the immune system and can boost the immune system to fight off pathogens.

B6: A deficiency in B6 can reduce the production of white blood cells. White blood cells fight off infection and disease as part of the immune system. Serious diseases, such as bone cancer, can lower your white blood cell count.

B12: This Vitamin is key to keeping a healthy immune system. B12 helps produce red blood cells. Red blood cells are a part of your immune system’s response to pathogens. Maintaining levels of this vitamin will keep your immune system at its strongest.

C: Vitamin C helps in the production of white blood cells. It also helps identify and kill pathogens. High intakes of vitamin C help prevent infection.

D: Helps with the protection against pathogens enhances cell function. Having vitamin D deficiency could lead to a higher risk of infection, especially respiratory.

E: This vitamin widens blood vessels, so there is not clotting. Cells use vitamin E to communicate so they can carry out functions like fighting off infection.

Recipes

Now for the fun part. Here are some simple and easy recipes that are packed with nutrients to boost your immune system and keep your body healthy.

Lemon Salmon with Cranberry Walnut Salad

This recipe is sure to satisfy your taste buds. With this recipe, you get vitamin C from the lemon, vitamin D & B6 from Salmon, and vitamin A from leafy greens. (Spinach/kale are great options!) Lastly, your body will be provided with vitamin E from the walnuts as a topping.

Here is how you will cook the meal:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400F and line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and drizzle olive oil across the foil.
  2. In a bowl, mix 1 tsp smoked paprika, 1tps garlic powder, 1tsp of kosher salt, zest of 1 lemon, and 1 tbsp olive oil.
  3. Place salmon filet(s) on the baking sheet and brush the seasoning mixture over the salmon.
  4. Roast in the oven for 20-25 mins or until the fish flakes easily.
  5. While Salmon cooks, in a large bowl, throw in 2 cups of leafy greens, ½ cup of dried cranberries, ½ cup of walnuts. Top with balsamic vinegar and feta cheese. Toss and serve.
  6. Drizzle salmon with lemon juice and place lemon slices on top. Serve.

boost your immune system

Steak with Broccoli and a Baked Potato

Red meats are packed with vitamin B6, B12, and D. The broccoli served on the side of this dish contains vitamins C, and A, while the starchy vegetables have an extra dose of vitamin B6.

This meal lacks significant amounts of vitamin E. To remedy this, plan to eat either a fortified cereal in the morning or nuts and seeds as a snack. Plant oils contain a generous amount of vitamin E as well. Remember, you don’t have to pull from every vitamin group each time you enjoy a meal! Feel free to split it up throughout the day.

Here is how to prepare each part of the meal:

Pan-Seared Steak

  1. Take the steak out of the refrigerator 30 mins before cooking to let rest. You can pour some red wine onto steak to help break down muscle tissue.
  2. Generously season the steak with salt and pepper on the top side on both sides.
  3. Pour the oil of your choice into a cast-iron skillet and heat on medium-high until the skillet is scorching hot.
  4. Place steak into the pan and cook for 4 minutes on each side to reach medium-rare—Cook longer for different wellness.
  5. Add 1 tbsp margarine, 1 stick rosemary, and 1 tbsp minced garlic to the pan.
  6. Once margarine melts and garlic browns, baste your steak.
  7. Let the steak rest for at least 5 minutes before serving. It will continue to cook as it rests. Remember this if it’s slightly under the wellness you like.

Steamed Broccoli

  1. Cut one head of broccoli into bite-sized pieces.
  2. Add one to two inches of water to a small pot with a lid.
  3. Bring water to a boil and add broccoli and close the lid.
  4. Cook for 4 minutes, strain broccoli, and serve.

Baked Potato

  1. Wash your russet potato and blot dry.
  2. Poke plenty of holes in your potato so steam can escape, and the potato doesn’t explode.
  3. Place in the microwave on high for 5 minutes.
  4. Flip the potato and do another 5 minutes on high.
  5. Cut open, stuff with toppings (cheese, margarine, sour cream, etc.), and serve.

boost your immune system

Garlic Tuscan Shrimp

This dish is great because it can be made in one pot – say hello to easy cleanup! The ingredients are packed with good fats and protein, too. Shrimp, the main protein in this recipe, is a great source of B12. Spinach and sun-dried tomatoes are packed with vitamin A. You get your vitamin C from an unlikely source, garlic! Then, you get your vitamin D and E from the fats, heavy cream, margarine, olive oil, and parmesan. You do get B6 from heavy cream, but it is not a significant amount. However, a good alternative to add some B6 in this dish is adding chicken in with the shrimp or completely replacing it. Or again, making sure you’re eating something high in B6 earlier in the day, like a banana.

Make the meal:

  1. In a large pan, melt/heat 2 tbsp of olive oil and margarine to medium-high heat. Add 1 lb. of shrimp and cook on each side for about a minute or until pink. Shrimp should be shaped like “C.” If they curled up like “O,” they’re overdone. Take shrimp out and set aside.
  2. Add 2 tbsp of garlic and sauté until slightly browned. Pour in ¾ cup of heavy cream and heat until thickened. Stir occasionally, so it doesn’t burn. Add in 2 tbsp sun-dried tomatoes and a teaspoon of tomato oil. Stir with heavy cream.
  3. Once thickened, add 4 cups of spinach (they will wilt fast), ¼ cup of parmesan, and add back in the shrimp. Serve on its own or over pasta!

Eggs, Bacon, and a Fruit Parfait

There is a reason that people say not to skip out of breakfast. Food provides us with a great boost of energy to sustain us throughout the morning. Eggs are packed with A, B12, D, and E vitamins, making them one of the most nutritious foods you can eat. If you want some more protein, you can eat different kinds of bacon, such as turkey bacon, Canadian bacon, or regular bacon to get some B6 and B12. To get a boost of vitamin C, have a fruit on the side, such as oranges, grapefruits, strawberries, kiwi, or pineapple.

Fried Eggs

  1. In a pan over medium to medium-high, heat up a tablespoon of olive oil. Once hot, crack two eggs into the pan. Watch as the whites turn opaque.
  2. Once whites are opaque and dense flip eggs over with a spatula in a quick motion.
  3. Wait about 1 minute for the other side to cook. For over-easy eggs, stop here and serve. For over medium or over hard, flip again until you can see the yolk inside turning a lighter yellow.
  4. Add salt and pepper to taste!

Pan-Fry Bacon

  1. In a small pan, heat 1 tsp butter or olive oil on low-medium heat.
  2. Add in 2-3 slices of bacon and let sear.
  3. Once the bacon starts to curl up on all edges and turn opaque, flip each slice.
  4. Continue to cook on each side in 2-minute increments until browned.
  5. Set on to a plate with a paper towel to drain excess grease. Pat dry and serve.

Fruit Parfait

  1. In one glass, add ¼ cup of Greek yogurt to the bottom.
  2. Add a layer of strawberries and pineapple.
  3. Layer ¼ cup of oats or granola on top of the fruit.
  4. Continue layering until the glass is full.
  5. Garnish with fruit and other toppings. Serve.

boost your immune system

Turkey and Salami Sandwich

Since we covered breakfast, we should cover lunch as well! Turkey contains B6 and B12, and since salami is red meat, you get vitamin D as well. Tomatoes and lettuce are a great source of vitamin A, so be sure to pack those veggies onto your sandwich!

This meal doesn’t require cooking skills, so it is a perfect recipe for beginners:

  1. On two white wheat bread pieces, spread a thin layer of mayonnaise on one slice and mustard on the other add.
  2. On your top slice of bread, place two slices of swiss cheese. Next, lay out two slices of tomato and top it with a handful of lettuce or spinach.
  3. On the bottom slice, add half of a mashed avocado and some slices of red onions.
  4. Place two slices of turkey and two slices of salami on the bottom slice.
  5. Carefully assemble the two pieces with their toppings to create one unit.
  6. Cut in half horizontally or vertically to eat with ease and serve.

Overview

Nourishing your body is a form of self-care. Food can help us stay strong and healthy so that we have the energy to enjoy all of our favorite activities! Learning to enjoy cooking and creating yummy foods is a process – we hope this guide will serve as an outline for beginners!

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