In the United States, on average 5% to 20% of the population gets the flu and more than 200,000 people are hospitalized from seasonal flu-related complications. That’s a whole lot of sick time for those of us who get sick. Yes, getting the right amount of sleep and minimizing your stress levels are the keys to some aspects of your health, but ultimately it boils down to what you eat when it comes to determining your physical and mental health. The first step to a healthier you is making a meal planner, then filling it with superfoods that will help you ward of disease.
What is a meal planner?
A meal planner is a device that helps you plan out all of your meals. You can make a calendar or written meal planner if you feel more comfortable writing out your meal plans. If not, try finding a free downloadable meal planner online in which you can fill out your favorite superfoods and superfood meals.
Superfoods and Supermeals for Your Meal Planner
If you want to create a healthy meal planner that helps you keep your immune system strong, put some of these great, go-to superfoods on your grocery list:
- Almonds: According to the University in California, the fiber in nuts may prevent the body from absorbing fat while speeding up weight loss. Almonds are also high in antioxidants, which may help reduce the risk of cancer. Put sliced almonds on your salad to create the ultimate supermeal.
- Sprouts: This veggie has plenty of vitamin A and vitamin C. Additionally, sprouts offer a phytonutrient that can help clear carcinogenic substances out of the body. Put sprouts on your sandwich to add some greenery and some phytonutrients.
- Strawberries: Make sure to include strawberries in your meal planner, too. These berries are anti-inflammatory, anticancer, and heart-helpful. Strawberries also guard against rheumatoid arthritis, liver cancer, atherosclerosis, and other diseases and ailments. Make yourself a yogurt parfait with sliced strawberries or just eat them whole as a snack.
- Garlic: Studies suggest the same sulphur compounds that cause odour may also stop cancer-causing substances from forming in your body, speed DNA repair and kill cancer cells. I guess we can live with stinky breath if we’re taking in cancer-causing garlic! One 2003 review of several garlic studies concluded that some compounds derived from garlic “have been found to retard the growth of chemically induced and transplantable tumors in several animal models. Therefore, the consumption of garlic may provide some kind of protection from cancer development.” Implement garlic into your healthy meal planner by putting it on pizza, cooking with it, or infusing your olive oil with roasted garlic cloves.
- Broccoli: Health experts constantly discuss the health benefits of broccoli. “Broccoli is the best source of this particular compound,” says scientist Jed Fahey of broccoli’s sulphoraphane count. Sulphorane may reduce cancer risk by detoxifying harmful substances and operating as an antimicrobial agent by attacking various bacterium. Additionally, the World Cancer Research Fund and the American Institute for Cancer Research contend that broccoli and its sister veggies are most protective against cancers of the mouth, oesophagus and stomach. Eat broccoli in a casserole, salad, or as a side with grilled chicken.
- Exotic Berries: Berries like acai and gogi berries are full of antioxidants, which have disease fighting compounds that scientists believe repair or prevent the stress of oxidation, a process that occurs naturally during normal cell function. Therefore, antioxidants may reduce chances of heart disease, neurological diseases, and even cancer while increasing immunity. Implement antioxidants into your healthy meal planner by putting gogi berries and acai berry powder (below), and other berries in fruit smoothies and drinking them up for breakfast.
Eat these supermeals with disease-fighting superfoods to stay strong and healthy. These superfoods will make great additions to your healthy meal planner and may even cut down on your sick days.