While it can be easy and comforting to grab for the chips when you're social distancing, it's important to focus on the items that will help you maintain a healthy immune system. Integrative Nutritionist and Celebrity Health Coach, Karina Heinrich weighs in on her top pantry picks and favorite super foods to stay healthy while at home.
“There’s not a lot we can control right now but we can control what we are putting in our mouths, our thoughts and the energies we are giving off. The most important thing is to listen to what your body is telling you,” she says.
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Top Immunity Boosters
Immunity boosters are essential during this time, not just to protect you from colds and flus, but because the stress and change in routines can and does compromise the strength of our immune system. The foods below are things that you should be consuming every day—these foods will help calm your body and give it extra nutrients and vitamins, regardless if you’re going to the outside world and interacting with the germs out there. You’re still compromising your immune system with stress and lack of sleep or exercise.
- Bone Broth: I have a recipe for homemade bone broth on my website but it’s also available in pre-made boxes at the grocery store. It strengthens your immune system and provides nutrients, vitamins, amino acids and essential fatty acids. Look for broth that is unsalted or sodium-free.
- Raw Honey: It’s high in antioxidants. I love adding it to tea or toast. Kids love it! *Make sure to check with your doctor before giving honey to babies + toddlers.
- Chlorella: It’s really easy to add to smoothies or liquids. I like it because it’s a total immune booster in a small package. You don’t need a lot of Chlorella to give yourself those vitamins and nutrients.
- Citrus Fruit: If you do feel some sniffles coming on, you really want to up your Vitamin C and the easiest way is to have that Vitamin C at home and consuming it versus taking a supplement. Oranges (I buy the little Cuties for my kids), grapefruits, lemons, limes—if you can have one every single day, that’s a plus.
- Red Bell Peppers: Ounce for ounce, one bell pepper has twice the vitamin C that an orange does. Add it to your salads, stir fry and soups. My kids love to dip them into ranch dressing or hummus.
- Papaya: You can find 224% of your daily recommended vitamin C in papaya, plus it’s a natural digestion aide so I always say have some after a meal as your dessert and it will help you digest even faster.
- Garlic: We know that garlic is amazing in fighting infections. It’s an immunity booster, you don’t need a lot of it to go a long way, add it into pastas, pasta sauce and salad dressings.
- Turmeric: This is one of my favorite spices. I add it to eggs, I sprinkle it on chicken—it has a high concentration of anti inflammatory compounds and antioxidants that provide so many health benefits.
- Green Tea: You need about 3 to 4 glasses per day to really reap those antioxidants. Sip it throughout the day. It’s enjoyable and easy to add into anyone’s diet plan.
- Kiwi: It has so many antioxidants and vitamins, especially Vitamin C and they last a long time. Have it as a snack, add it into a smoothie or a parfait.
- Astragalus Root: This is an herbal supplement that’s been used as traditional Chinese medicine for centuries. It’s an immune system booster and it reduces inflammation so they are using this root often in Eastern medicine to combat illness and strengthen the body.
- Ginger: It is the easiest thing to make into a tea. It helps decrease inflammation and if you feel any sore throat coming on, it’s really important to sip this tea. You can buy it already made but this is one of those fun things to make with your kids.
Karina’s Top Non-Perishable Pantry Picks
Let's face it, we're not making it to the grocery store that much these days. To ensure you're always stocked with healthy and substantial foods, consider stocking your pantry with the following:
- Dried & Canned Beans: They can be kept at room temperature for two to five years! Beans are healthy, full of fiber, protein, magnesium, B vitamins, iron and copper. They pair well with so many foods you can make for your family from soup and stew to stir fry and salad.
- Nut Butters: From almond to peanut butters, they are delicious and full of protein, fiber, vitamins and really healthy fats.
- Canned Fish: Tuna and salmon can last up to five years at room temperature, versus frozen fish, which keeps for 10 to 18 months.
- Nuts & Seeds: Almonds, cashews, pumpkin seeds and pistachios.
- Grains: Oats, barley, quinoa, brown rice—great for soups, salads and casseroles.
- Bee Pollen: It has a high concentration of protein and it’s so easy to sprinkle into salads, smoothies, oatmeal or cereal.
- Granola & Protein Bars
- Pre-Made Soup
- Non-Dairy Milk
- Collagen Powder
- Plant Based Items: Beans, Lentils, Chickpeas, Whole Wheat Pasta, Lentil Pasta, Tempeh, Vegetable Sausage, Marinara Sauce, Wild Rice, Quinoa, Farro, Wheat Berries, Olive Oil, Nutritional Yeast, Vegetable Broth
Karina’s Top Perishable Pantry Picks
If possible, focus on the following fresh product: berries, banana, apples, sweet potatoes, carrots, spinach, salmon, chicken, eggs, yogurt.
About Karina Heinrich
Karina Heinrich is the top Chicago-based Certified Integrative Nutritionist and Celebrity Health Coach. Karina has achieved major success in helping hundreds of clients, including professional models, athletes, celebrities & high profile CEOs, reach optimal wellness and weight loss through her breakthrough nutrition movement, The Karina Method (TKM).