Create Ultimate Comfort Food Combo To Boost Your Immune This Winter

The month of November means the beginning of flu season. The cold and flu bugs are ready to tear their way through offices and schools, leaving you and your family sniffly, sick, grumpy, and achy all Gloria Tsang new3over. And good nutrition is particularly important during this time of the year. When it’s dark and cold, it is normal we crave for carb-heavy comfort foods. Lentils, one of the ultimate comfort foods, not only deliver satisfying complex carbohydrates, but also some stellar heart-smart nutrients including potassium and folate. So why not add some immune-boosting foods to this comfort food, and create the ultimate comfort food combo that keep you healthy throughout winter.

Combo 1: Yogurt + Lentil

Yogurt’s probiotics have been scientifically shown to prevent colds and shorten sick leaves from work and school. Look for yogurt with either Lactobacillus casei or Lactobacillus reuteri to help fight the sick bug this year. Pair yogurt with protein-rich lentils and chickpeas to create a satisfying salad. Try this quick and easy Lentil & Chickpea Salad with Creamy Lemon Yogurt Dressing recipe!

Combo 2: Mushroom + Lentils

Don’t worry if you have never heard of beta-glucan or the fact that it has been shown to enhance macrophage activity to help ward off infection. All you need to know is that beta-glucan from mushrooms can help you from getting sick in the Winter months.  You can easily add mushrooms to your pasta sauce, soups, stir-fries, or even pizza.  Better yet, try this easy-to-make Lentil-Stuffed mushroom to enjoy the ultimate comfort food with flu-squashing beta-glucan!

Combo 3: Seafood + Lentils

Selenium is a trace mineral and is more important than many people think. It functions as an antioxidant in your body but it has also been shown that men with high levels of blood selenium were less like to develop prostate cancer.  In addition, selenium has also been shown to improve immunity.  Try making this crowd-pleasing Mini Crab & Lentil Cakes. Your family will love them!

Combo 4: Nuts + Lentils

Researchers have found that a daily Vitamin E supplement of 200 IU may help to prevent colds. You don’t need to take supplements to get vitamin E; nature always has alternatives. Indeed, most nuts are a good source of Vitamin E but walnuts in particular, are not only rich in vitamin E, but also omega 3, fiber and magnesium.  So it just makes sense to pair walnuts with the ultimate comfort food in my favorite warm salad recipe: Roasted Butternut Squash and Lentils.

Combo 5: Citrus + Lentils

Vitamin C is always known to alleviate flu symptoms. And certainly citrus makes it on the list of top Vitamin C-rich foods! Speaking of comfort food, you cannot skip this Maple-Orange Mashed Sweet Potatoes with Red Lentils! With two ultimate comfort food superstars, sweet potatoes and lentils, this dish will be a hit with your family all winter.