Now is a good time to try anything and everything that might help boost your family’s immunity. And while there may not be a lot of scientifically-proven direct links between lifestyle and enhanced immunity, choosing a healthier lifestyle is never a bad idea.
These food choices are a good way to start giving your immune system the upper hand.
Chia seeds are a great superfood and are actually proven to help reduce belly fat if you are trying to lose some weight. Chia seeds contain omega-3, calcium, manganese and phosphorous and offer the following benefits:
- Brain and bone health
- Aid in the regeneration of cells and tissue
- Aid in sleep
- Regulates hunger
A fun idea to get kids interested is to plant chia seeds and grow tiny sprouts to add to salads. You can also use them in powder form to thicken stews and sauces, use them in place of bread crumbs for homemade chicken fingers, fish sticks, in meatballs and meatloaf.
Never mind berries, of all the fruits on our planet, Goji berries have the highest amount of vitamin C. They also contain 18 amino acids, vitamins A, E, and B and have 21 trace minerals. The benefits of Goji Berries include:
- Protect from certain cancers, cardiovascular disease and some degenerative diseases
- Improves energy levels
- Strengthens muscles, intestines and respiratory system
- Improves immune system
- Improves circulation
- Increases urinary tract health
The beauty of this superfood is that the berries can be eaten fresh or dried so you can add them to smoothies, crumbles, juices and, when dried, replace raisins in cookies and muffins.
Available in Canada between May and July, cherries are sweet and tart and are amazing straight from the farmers market. But they also make great additions to smoothies, baked goods, fruit salad, and more.
Why are cherries a superfood? They help reduce belly fat and eating them or drinking cherry juice can boos melatonin, which improves and regulates sleep patterns. Some studies suggest cherries or cherry juice can reduce muscle inflammation and soreness. Try a handful after a workout and see if you notice a difference. Lastly, cherries are full of anthocyanins–the powerful antioxidant that gives them their deep red color–which can help regulate fat and glucose levels and reduce risk factors for high cholesterol, blood pressure, and diabetes.
Cacao in its purest form has many healthy properties including iron, magnesium and flavenoids and is also proven to be a powerful antioxidant. You want to purchase certified raw cacao powder, beans or nibs to get the full benefits. The health benefits of cacao include:
- Heart health
- Baby health when eaten by pregnant moms
- Prevents diabetes
- Reduces stress hormones
- Reduces chance of sunburn (Does not replace sunscreen!)
- Keeps mind alert
Use the purest, highest cacao in all of your kids’ desserts looking for at least 70 percent pure cacao from chocolate chip cookies to hot cocoa. Offer them dark chocolate instead of milk chocolate so it is the first chocolate they try.
Coconut is something kids love and it can be enjoyed in a number of ways to reap its many rewards including:
- Restores electrolytes lost during high levels of activity
- Converts into energy instead of being stored as fat
- Helps fight infection when applied to bites, cuts and burns
Coconut water is very refreshing and better then pops, juices and especially sports drinks. Coconut milk can be enjoyed in a number of foods and soups and can also be eaten in yummy treats such as homemade popsicles. Replace milk with coconut milk in cereal, ice creams and in smoothies or buy fresh coconut and dice it as a yummy super snack.
Celtic Sea Salt uses a special harvesting technique that allows the salt to hold onto the health benefits of naturally occurring ingredients. All in all, it contains 28 trace minerals required by our bodies. Benefits include:
- Eliminates sodium build up in kidneys
- Eliminates mucous
- Improves heart rate and blood pressure
- Assists with brain function
- Keeps blood sugars balanced
- Removes excess acid
- Prevents muscle cramps
- Improve immunity
Use it in cooking in place of table salt, sprinkle it on food and salads and even use it on chocolate.