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Our next #30in30 #nutritionmonth blog post is from Helene Charlebois, Registered Dietitian/Nutrition Consultant. Thank you for submitting!

As a registered dietitian, I promote whole foods as ‘super’; food from Mother Nature, from the farm foods, getting back to fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins and lots of fibre rich foods.
The term ‘Superfoods’ was brought to us by the industry to highlight a single or a few key nutrients in a specific food. For example, blueberries are often called a superfood due to their high levels of antioxidants. But, did you know that blueberries are also very high in fibre, manganese, vitamin K, vitamin C (to name a few) and very low in fat, cholesterol and sodium. Eating the whole food can bring you much needed overall nutrients along with the ones deemed ‘super’.
Variety is key. Over this winter season, let’s herald Mother Nature’s foods as full of goodness and health to help boost our immune systems. Some key nutrients &/or food components in immune strengthening are: vitamin C, selenium, zinc, probiotics and sulfur compounds. Try to include some of these winter blah boosters foods into your daily diet. I call these “Foods that are SUPER”.
Foods that are ‘super’ in vitamin C
  • Tomatoes, all peppers (green, jalapenos & banana), lettuce, cucumber and all your citrus fruits like oranges and grapefruits.
  • Peppers of all kind also contain a powerful antioxidant called capsaicin which has been shown to help with muscle & joint pain on the outside and help fight disease states on the inside.
Foods which are ‘super’ in selenium
  • Nuts = Brazilian, walnuts
  • Seeds = pumpkin, sunflower, flax
  • Seafood = oysters, crab
  • Fish = tuna, salmon
  • Whole grains = wheat, oat bran
  • Lean meats and poultry = beef, pork, chicken, turkey
Foods that are ‘super’ in zinc
  • The list is very similar to foods high in selenium. Added to the list are oysters and all seafood plus legumes (beans, peas and lentils) & dairy products such as yogurt and cheeses.
Foods that are ‘super’ in probiotics
  • Fermented yogurts
  • Prebiotics are much needed in the diet to “feed” the probiotics. These include fruits, vegetables and whole grains that have natural compounds which ferment in your gut, boosting your probiotics.
Foods that are ‘super’ in sulfur compounds
  • Garlic & onions so load them up!.
  • Sulfur compounds are immune boosting due to their sanitizing properties or antibiotic / antibacterial action. These germ killers will help you fight infection throughout the winter season.
As you can see, the common theme in helping to boost your immune system this winter season is all about eating more whole foods brought to you by Mother Nature. By focusing on foods that are super such as vegetables, fruits, whole grain products and lean proteins plus wholesome yogurt, you will help be healthier, all season long.


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