Fall is here and with the changing season comes the need to increase the strength of our immune system. Ironically the foods and nutrients needed to boost your immune system are great for your skin and anti-aging. So, why not invest in yourself?
Here are some tips for increasing your immune system. As I state in my book “The Ciminelli Solution, a 7 Day Plan for Radiant Skin”, make sure you are combining both above-ground AND below ground grown vegetables in your diet for a more comprehensive range of nutrients that are necessary for health and beauty. Whenever possible, eat fruits that are in season. They are still available all year long, but it is best to consume them in the season during which they grow naturally.
It is essential to eat organic foods. The herbicides and pesticides used by commercial farmers are deadly. It is worth the extra dollar or two that you pay for organic. If you are drinking milk or eating dairy, choose grass-fed as well as organic. Regular milk or dairy is loaded with the hormones that the cow is injected with to produce more milk. Disease is an expensive business. Prevention is always the more prudent way to go.
To make it easier for you to stay healthy, why not clean out your food pantry, refrigerator, and freezer to get rid of all tempting processed items? They are not worth the calories or the negative effect they have on your health and beauty. Processed foods are one of the causes of rosacea and other inflammatory conditions in the skin and the body. Replace these items with whole grains, nuts, and seeds. Starting with these small steps can help you ease into a healthier lifestyle. Adding toasted nuts and or seeds to your salads is a great way to sneak more plant-based protein and fiber into your daily diet. Men particularly benefit from toasted pumpkin seeds added to their diets. One way to do this is to add it to salads. They are delicious as well as nutritious.
Food high in omega-three fatty acids is great for the brain and quelling inflammation in the body. My Blue-Green Algae Pills from Klamath Lake are an excellent source of omega-three fatty acids. Taking them daily helps your energy levels as well as supports your brain and heart. Eating fresh cold-water fish is another way to get omega-three fatty acids into your diet. Fish is excellent for the brain. Just avoid farm-raised fish and swordfish. Always top off your food with fresh herbs right before serving to get as many raw herbs into your system as possible. The natural essential oils are released into your gut and help maintain its health.
Here are some nutrient-dense, immune system boosting recipes to incorporate into your diet:
Brussel Sprouts Salad
10 organic Brussel sprouts washed
1 tablespoon of minced shallots
2 Tablespoons of whole milk organic yogurt
2 tablespoons of blue cheese of your choice
1 tablespoon of fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon of red wine vinegar
Pinch of salt and fresh ground pepper to taste.
Run the Brussel Sprouts through a mandolin very carefully to slice them very thin. Toss with shallots in a bowl. Combine with the blended dressing. Serves 4
Brussel sprouts are cruciferous vegetables, and they are known to help fight cancer. This means they are nutrient-dense.
1 bundle of organic asparagus washed. Trim the woody ends. Reserve for veggie stock.
Parsley chopped fine
Blanch trimmed asparagus in salted water for 4 to 5 minutes. Remove from boiling water and shock in a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking and maintain the pretty green color.
I make my mayonnaise. It is easier than it sounds. Just add 2 egg yolks into a blender. Add ½ teaspoon of dried mustard and 1 teaspoon of Dijon mustard. Add a few tablespoons of fresh lemon juice to the blender. Blend until combined. Slowly add ½ to ¾ cup of extra virgin olive oil. Salt to taste afterward. It lasts for weeks in your refrigerator.
Organic Vegetable Soup
2 cups Tuscan kale cleaned and chopped
2 cups Swill chard cleaned and chopped
1 cup peeled and diced yellow onion
½ cup peeled and chopped carrot
½ cup of chopped celery
2 Tablespoons of chopped garlic
2 teaspoons of Kosher salt
Fresh ground pepper to taste
2-3 Tablespoons of good quality olive oil
4 cups organic chicken broth
½ cup each fresh chopped parsley and basil
Add oil to a large pot. Sauté all vegetables over medium heat for about 10 minutes. Stir frequently to prevent sticking and burning. Add organic chicken broth, cover, and simmer for ½ - 1 hour. Puree in blender in small batches or use an immersion blender. Adjust seasoning. Stir in ½ cup chopped fresh parsley and basil right before serving.