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  • Writer's pictureRachel Turi, RD

Eating to Avoid Illness

There's no better time to boost your immune system than now! While balanced nutrition including fruits, vegetables, whole grains and starches, dairy, proteins and healthy fat, is key to a happy and healthy body all year round, here are a handful of foods that you may want to consider including more often as a way to boost your immune system and better prevent yourself from coming down with any sort of cold, flu, or virus! Think- Protein, Antioxidants, Vitamin D, Probiotics, Prebiotics, Omega 3's.

Greek yogurt:

Protein, Vitamin D, and Probiotics are all key to immune health. Greek yogurt contains all three of these. Triple whammy!

Citrus fruits:

Oranges, grapefruit, and other citrus fruits are a great source of vitamin C; a nutrient that is proven to be critical is fighting off sickness as well as reducing the severity of sickness if we do get it.

Tea, especially green:

Chalked full of health benefits, including being an excellent source of flavanoids, a class of antioxidants shown to be helpful in boosting immune function.


Salmon is an excellent source of omega 3 fatty acids, protein, and zinc. Again, all three of which do wonders for fighting off illness. Another great source of Omega 3's are chia seeds and flaxseeds.

Whole grains:

Whole grains are a source of fiber and prebiotics. Prebiotics are the "food" for probiotics, which promote the growth of healthy gut bacteria. This in turn results in a stronger immune system, seeing as much of the immune system is housed in the gut.

That's a lot of foods to remember but luckily for you, here is a recipe that combines all of those ingredients in one! Try this tasty immune-boosting twist on your classic morning oatmeal.


- 1/2 cup (less or more based off hunger and energy needs) oats

- 1 orange, peeled and segmented

- 1/2 cup plain or vanilla greek yogurt (less or more based off hunger and energy needs)

- 1 cup water

- 1 green tea bag

- 1 Tbsp. chia seeds or ground flaxseed, or some of both

- Additional add-ins: shredded coconut, nuts or seeds, honey, maple syrup

Boil 1 cup of water and let the green tea bag steep. Use the resulting 1 cup of tea to cook up the oats in the microwave. Mix in orange segments, chia/flaxseeds, Greek yogurt and additional add-ins.

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