I was contacted by a representative from the Florida Department of Citrus, who wants to educate consumers about the benefits of orange juice. By including foods that are high in vitamin C, like 100% orange juice, you can stay healthier during the cold and flu season. Kim Galeaz, a registered dietitian and contributor to 4 weeks to a Maximum Immunity, says that the secret to supporting a strong immune system is as simple as knowing how to navigate the grocery store aisles. Since I love going grocery shopping myself, I was more than happy to pass on her strategies to my readers.
- Point your cart to produce. Load up on vegetables to support the immune system. Dark leafy greens, such as kale and spinach, and yellow or orange vegetables, like carrots, winter squash and sweet potatoes supply a healthy dose of disease-fighting antioxidants. And don’t forget canned, frozen and dried vegetables are convenient, nutrient-rich choices that may also be more economical.
- Spice up your winter. Hot peppers area tasty way to break up nose and chest congestion during cold and flu season. Look for any fresh green and red hot peppers or hot sauce, which will allow you to taste your food better and feel less stuffy with the added bonus of natural antioxidants.
- Squeeze out sniffles. 100% fruit juice is a tasty way to get the important vitamins and minerals as well as critical antioxidants needed to help support your body in its fight against winter sniffles. Just be sure it says “100 % fruit juice” on the label. A vitamin C-rich juice such as 100% Florida orange juice is all the natural and key source of nutrients that help support the immune system as well as overall health.
- Pack some protein in your winter wellness plan. Protein is important for building, repairing and maintaining all of the body’s cells, tissues and organs, which help to sustain the immune system and energy levels. Good sources of protein include lean beef, lean pork, skinless poultry and fish. If you are a vegetarian, try canned and dry beans, lentils or soy products such as meatless burgers, edamame, tofu and soy milk.
- Get nutty about nuts and seeds. From almonds and peanuts, to walnuts, pistachios and sunflower seeds, nuts and seeds are packed with fiber, folate, magnesium, calcium, potassium, riboflavin, and vitamin E – making them nutritional super heroes during cold and flu season, or any time of year.
- Top off your cart with whole grains. Whole grains are great sources of vitamins, minerals and fiber that are essential to keeping the immune system healthy. Substitute the whole grain version for your favorite breads, cereals, and pasta. Oats, brown rice and quinoa are also great choices.
Thanks Kim for passing along such great information. It’s always a nicer winter when you stay healthy. Now, for the recipe!
- 2 cups 100% Florida orange juice (or 1 cup oj and 1 cup passion juice)
- 1 cup low fat vanilla yogurt
- 1 Florida navel orange, peeled and cut into chunks
- 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
Throw everything in a blender and blend until smooth. Makes 2 servings
Each serving is 221 calories, 2 fat and 1.5 fiber.
For more great recipes and ideas, visit www.floridajuice.com