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A strong immune system is the key to staying healthy, particularly during winter. Germs seem to lurk everywhere during the cold season, and if your defenses are weak, you can easily catch a variety of illnesses.

Fortunately, you can boost your immunity simply by eating certain foods.

The following recipe is a good place to start because it’s loaded with foods that build the immune system naturally.

Zesty prawn taco salad

Ingredients:

  • 3 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 ½ cups corn kernels
  • 4 medium tomatoes
  • 1 can black beans
  • 1 ½ cups cooked brown rice
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup coriander, chopped
  • 1/3 cup salsa
  • 2/3 cup shredded Tasty cheese
  • 1 cup fresh spinach
  • 2 cups shredded cos lettuce
  • 230 grams fresh prawns
  • 2 ½ cups crumbled whole-wheat tortilla chips
  • 1 lime, cut into wedges

Method:

  1. Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil over medium heat in a large skillet. Add the onion and corn, and stir occasionally. While the corn and onion cook, chop a tomato and rinse the beans thoroughly. Once the onions begin to caramelise, add the tomato, beans and rice to the mix. Sprinkle with the salt.
  2. Let these ingredients cook for approximately 5 minutes. You should stir the mixture frequently to prevent the onions from burning. Remove the pan from the heat, pour mixture into a large bowl and let it cool.
  3. Heat the remaining tablespoon of olive oil on medium-high heat. Peel and de-vein the prawns if necessary. Season generously with salt and pepper, and cook the prawns until the colour changes from gray to pink. This should take approximately 5 minutes.
  4. While the prawns cook, chop the remaining tomatoes, and combine them with the salsa and coriander. Add half this mixture to the cooled rice mixture. Stir in the cheese, and gently add the spinach and lettuce. Once the prawns are fully cooked, add that to the mix.
  5. Serve in large, shallow bowls. Squeeze some lime juice over the prawn mixture and top with the crumbled tortilla chips. You can serve the remaining salsa on the side.

Most ingredients in this dish help to build the immune system naturally. The dietary fibre in whole wheat fights disease and the fatty acids in olive oil control inflammatory defenses.

The protein and selenium in prawns encourage recovery and stimulate the body’s immune response.

Onions contain substances that promote probiotic growth and the vegetables have antioxidants that boost resistance to illness. Finally, the beans and the lime juice help the body fight bacterial infection and inflammation.

Your diet is the most powerful weapon against disease and sickness. Once you know which foods provide the most benefits, it’s easy to create dietary strategies for maintaining good health in the winter.

Whether you dine out, create your own meals or use a catering service, always select an assortment of foods that help reinforce your immune system. You can make these simple changes today to stay healthy throughout the winter season and year-round.

Do you know of any other foods that are great for the immune system? Please share below.

Image courtesy of Shutterstock.com
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