In our last post about staying healthy through cold and flu season, we talked about some key nutrients and ingredients to pay attention to when you’re grocery shopping. Of course it’s a good idea to make healthy food choices year round, but being extra conscious to include these key nutrients at this time of year will help support good overall immune health to get you through cold and flu season. To recap, here are some of the most important ones to remember:
- Vitamins C and E help maintain good health. You can find vitamin C in citrus fruits and vitamin E in seeds and nuts.
- B vitamins also play a role in maintaining good health. Find these in leafy greens and winter squashes, among many other sources.
- Vitamin A helps maintain immune function, and it’s found in the form of beta carotene in orange vegetables like carrots, sweet potatoes, and butternut squash.
- Zinc also helps maintain immune function. Look for zinc in meat, shellfish, nuts, and seeds.
- Probiotics in kefir and probiotic yogurt may help modulate immune function. Non-dairy sources include kombucha and sauerkraut.
- Finally, we need protein to build and repair body tissues and antibodies. Good sources of protein include meats, eggs, seafood, dairy, legumes, nuts, and seeds.
Today I’m sharing some quick and easy recipes made with these healthful ingredients. I know you’re just as busy as I am, especially at this time of year, so I’ve picked some options I hope you’ll feel good about making even on hectic weeknights.
We love cooking with sweet potatoes year round. Despite the name, sweet potatoes are actually root vegetables, and they’re packed full of vitamin A (in the form of beta-carotene), vitamin C, manganese, copper, dietary fiber, potassium, phosphorus, and B vitamins. One of my favourite ways to enjoy sweet potatoes is roasted in olive oil with a touch of sea salt, fresh ground pepper, garlic powder, and basil flakes.
I love to mix family favourites with new flavours and textures to keep things interesting and introduce some variety into my recipe box. For example, we also enjoy our sweet potatoes mashed with coconut milk< /a> or pureed into a creamy, dreamy Roasted Sweet Potato Soup. Mmm!
Sweet Potato Salad with Cranberries and Sliced Almonds
I just found out that President’s Choice has a sizable database of recipes you can browse for even more quick dinner ideas, like this amazing Sweet Potato Salad with Cranberries and Sliced Almonds below. The cranberries are another good source of vitamin C and dietary fiber, and the almonds add healthy fats and vitamin E.
Spaghetti Squash “Pasta” with Walnuts and Sage
Spaghetti squash has the remarkable property of shredding into long spaghetti-like strands when cooked. We love using spaghetti squash for Paleo Spaghetti Squash Bolognese, and in this Spaghetti Squash “Pasta” recipe, it’s paired with sage, onion, and walnuts for a low-calorie, nutrient-dense vegetarian dish.
Pan Trout with Garlicky Rapini
Bitter and pungent rapini can stand up to a lot of garlic for a perfect side to pan-fried trout. It’s also a very good source of fiber, vitamins A, C, E, and K, as well as zinc and B vitamins.
Citrus and Beet Salad
Citrus fruit is full of vitamin C, and beets are a good source of folate, minerals, dietary fiber, and vitamins C and B6. Add them together with nutrient-rich baby spinach (think vitamins K, A, B2, B6, E, and C, folate, dietary fiber, and zinc) to make this bright and beautiful salad.
Lemon and Herb Trout
This lemon and herb trout is simply baked in parchment paper with lemon wedges, parsley, thyme, and garlic. High in healthy omega-3 fatty acids, it’s ready in just 20 minutes!
Strawberry Kiwi Smoothie Bowl
Looking to try a healthier breakfast routine? Try this smoothie bowl made with probiotic kefir, chia seeds, and President’s Choice’s strawberry/kiwi/banana blend. For busy mornings on the go, add a little extra kefir to thin out the smoothie and pour it into a travel cup.
From the food aisle to the pharmacy, your local Real Canadian Superstore has what you need to help you maintain your health during cold and flu season. Book an appointment with one of their in-store registered dietitians for more information on foods and recipes that help support good overall and immune health, and while you’re there, visit the in-store pharmacist for your flu shot!
Disclosure: This is a sponsored conversation. Nevertheless, all opinions in this post are completely honest and my own. Your experience may differ.