As a full-time caregiver and a mother, I take special care to prepare each meal for my family. Providing an adequate amount of nutrients takes effort. I carefully plan all meals such that the requirements of both, kids and adults in my family are met. Not only do I encourage them to eat healthily, I take a step further to make it look like the savory fast-food they crave.
Granted, this deception neither goes unnoticed nor underappreciated. Take my husband, for instance. Since I have enforced a nutrient-rich diet in the household, my husband has not only lost those extra pounds but is also free from the harrowing fatigue that hounds every working adult. With the right blend of nutrients, I have personally experienced a healthy change in myself too.
It is a known fact that the right kind of nutrition leads to stronger immunity (1). We have been reminded time and again that the key to a healthy family is strong immunity. Therefore, to do the best I can, I include more protein, vitamins, and zinc in our regular diet to boost my family’s immunity.
Benefits Of Adding Protein To Your Diet
Protein is an essential component when it comes to repairing your body tissues and combating bacterial infections. The powerhouses of the immune system, antibodies, and immune system cells, require protein to fight infections effectively. Deficiency in protein can lead to serious cases of weakness and fatigue. There is a direct correlation between a protein-rich diet and stronger immunity (2).
Granted that having lots of protein will not miraculously cure the flu. Yet, providing your family with a protein-enriched diet regularly will give them a stronger chance to prevent these infections in the first place.
Eggs are easily available and a great source of protein. You can include lean cuts of meat in your family’s diet. If you are a vegetarian, you can use pulses, soy, nuts, and beans to increase your family’s regular protein intake.
Of course, like every other family, I have my share of fussy eaters. And let me tell you, it is not just kids. There are days when the greens on my husband’s plate also remain untouched. Hence, to provide my family with the optimum protein-rich diet, I try to mix things up as much as I can. I researched and learned the art of making average food products interesting by pairing them with something more fun. We all love noodles and burgers. It is easier to make lettuce wraps and zucchini noodles rather than depriving ourselves of fun food.
Benefits Of Adding Vitamins To Your Diet
Vitamin A is critical in the development of the immune system as it plays a vital role in regulating cellular immune responses. Its deficiency can affect eyesight and immunity (3). Eggs, cod liver oil, broccoli, and spinach are good sources of Vitamin A.
Vitamin C is essential in supporting a healthy immune system. Lack of vitamin C can cause weakened immunity and therefore, increased susceptibility to infections (4). Include citrus foods like grapefruit, oranges, and limes to stock up on the much-needed Vitamin C.
Vitamin B12 is required for the optimum production of red blood cells and the effective functioning of the nervous system. Vitamin B12 deficiency can lead to anemia or can cause damage to the nervous system (5). You can avoid these conditions by adding meat, eggs, and dairy to your diet. You can also easily access supplements that are enriched with Vitamin B12.
Benefits Of Adding Zinc To Your Diet
In addition to playing a key role in physiological functions, zinc is required for the development and functioning of immune cells. Lack of zinc in your diet may result in infection, allergies, autoimmune diseases, and cancer (6). Shellfish, legumes, eggs, nuts, and whole grains are healthy ways to add zinc to your regular diet.
Benefits of Adding Iron To Your Diet
Iron is critical to our immune system and our healthy functioning for a variety of reasons. It preserves vital body functions like the gastrointestinal processes, the immune system and also regulates our body temperature. Iron deficiency can lead to anemia and make you susceptible to harmful diseases (7). Enrich your diet with iron by including chicken or lamb liver, spinach, legumes, red meat, and broccoli.
Most of the aforementioned foods are easily available and most likely, already part of your diet. To go the extra mile, I plan out my meals in a way so that my family can have all the nutrients in one meal. As the primary caregiver, this assures me that my family has strong enough immunity to prevent or fight off harmful diseases.
Do you have ideas on how to make nutrition more fun and easy? Share with us in the comments below.