The thought of eating to boost your immune system may conjure up less-than-thrilling images of garlic and broccoli on repeat. But there are plenty of tasty foods proven to help your body fight off viral and bacterial infections.

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As a nutritionist and recipe developer, I’m all about creating meals and snacks that help people stay healthy. While no foods have been linked specifically to fighting off the coronavirus, a good diet definitely plays a role in keeping your immune system strong.

Here are my five favorite immunity-boosting recipes I’ve been making during Covid-19 to stay happy, healthy and full:

Green Peach Smoothie

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Green Peach Smoothie

This delicious drink wears its greens proudly with a hefty dose of fresh spinach, mixed with a sweet taste of fruit.

Spinach is an excellent source of iron, which helps our immune cells function properly. And not only does its vitamin C content serve as a natural antioxidant, but it can help boost iron absorption.

Sipping your greens in raw form has an added health benefit: You’ll take in more nutrients than you would from cooked spinach, since heat can lower the amount of certain nutrients (including vitamin C) in green foods.

Serves: 2

Ingredients:

1 frozen banana 1½ cup frozen sliced peaches 2 cups fresh chopped spinach 1 tbsp. honey ¾ cup unsweetened almond milk ¾ cup plain Greek yogurt 

Instructions:

Combine all ingredients in blender. Blend until smooth. Serve immediately.Sun-Dried Tomato Almond Pesto Pasta With Chicken

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Sun-Dried Tomato Almond Pesto Pasta With Chicken

Lycopene, the signature antioxidant in tomatoes, is known for reducing inflammation — an important part of disease prevention. Plus, high levels of vitamin C found in the red fruits help protect against damage from free radicals, according to the National Institutes of Health.

Almonds (used to make the pesto sauce) are abundant in vitamin E, which helps keeps immune cells fit. Meanwhile, high protein content from the chicken helps regulates the body’s immune response by activating defender cells and producing antibodies.

Serves: 5

Ingredients:

 For the pesto:

1¼ cup sun-dried tomatoes (dry, not oil-packed) ½ cup slivered almonds ½ cup extra virgin olive oil 3 tbsp. fresh lemon juice 2 garlic cloves Salt and pepper

 For chicken and pasta:

8 oz. whole wheat spaghetti 5 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, pounded to ½-inch thickness ½ tsp. dried basil ½ tsp. dried oregano ½ tsp. salt ½ tsp. pepper ½ tsp. garlic powder 1 tbsp. olive oil

 Instructions:

Throw tomatoes, almonds, olive oil, lemon juice and garlic into a food processor. Blend until nearly smooth. Add salt and pepper to taste. Set pesto sauce aside. Boil a large pot of water and start cooking the spaghetti. For the chicken, season both sides with basil, oregano, salt, pepper and garlic powder. In a large nonstick skillet, heat 1 tbsp. of olive oil over medium-high heat. Add seasoned chicken and cook each side for about four minutes, or until internal temperature reaches 165 degrees Fahrenheit. Assemble individual plates of spaghetti, pesto and chicken. Serve immediately.Vegetarian Mexican Stuffed Peppers

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Vegetarian Mexican Stuffed Peppers

You don’t have to be a vegetarian to enjoy these hearty stuffed peppers; its zesty Mexican flavor, savory cheese topping and high protein from beans and rice will appeal even to hardcore carnivores.

You’ll also reap plenty of immunity-boosting benefits: One medium red bell pepper contains 152 milligrams of vitamin C, which is nearly 170% of the recommended daily intake (RDI) for men, and over 200% RDI for women.

 Serves: 6

 Ingredients:

1 tbsp. olive oil 1 small onion, diced 3 cloves garlic, minced 1 cup long-grain rice 1 ¼ cup vegetable broth (or water) 15 oz. canned fire-roasted salsa-style diced tomatoes ¼ tsp. salt ¼ tsp. pepper ½ tsp. chili powder ¼ tsp. cumin 1⁄8 tsp. dried oregano 8 red or green bell peppers ½ cup frozen corn 15 oz. can black beans, drained and rinsed 1 cup sharp cheddar cheese, shredded

Instructions:


In a large saucepan, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add onion and saute for five minutes. Add minced garlic and saute another 30 seconds. Add rice, vegetable broth (or water), diced tomatoes, salt, pepper, chili powder, cumin and oregano, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low. Simmer for 16 to 18 minutes, or until liquid is absorbed. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Slice off the tops of the peppers and scrape out the seeds. Place peppers snugly in the bottom of an 8×8 glass baking dish (or larger, depending on the size of your peppers). When the rice is finished cooking, add corn and beans to the mixture and stir together. Using a spoon, carefully stuff the peppers with filling. Cover tightly with aluminum foil and bake for 20 minutes. Remove foil, sprinkle with cheddar, and continue baking another 15 minutes. Serve immediately.Salmon Kale Caesar Wraps

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Salmon Kale Caesar Wraps

Salmon and kale get their “superfood” status for good reason. The omega-3 fatty acids in the pink fish reduce systemic inflammation, which research shows can help strengthen the body’s disease-fighting response.

Kale supplies vitamin A, vitamin C, iron and zinc — all of which contribute to a healthy immune system, according to the Cleveland Clinic. Kale also has high levels of folate, one of the B-vitamins needed to make red and white blood cells in the bone marrow and convert carbohydrates into energy.

Serves: 4

Ingredients:

¾ lb. salmon ¼ lemon juice Drizzle olive oil Salt and pepper to taste 6 cups kale, chopped ⅓ cup Caesar salad dressing (store-bought or homemade) ¼ cup shredded Parmesan cheese 4 whole wheat tortillas 

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Spray a small baking dish with cooking spray. Place salmon in the dish and squeeze lemon juice on top, followed by a drizzle of olive oil and some salt and pepper. Bake 15 minutes, or until fish flakes easily with a fork. Meanwhile, assemble the salad: In a medium bowl, toss kale with Caesar dressing and Parmesan. Add cooked salmon to the salad and toss to combine. Fill tortillas with completed salad. Wrap and serve immediately.Mandarin Orange Yogurt Pops

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Mandarin Orange Yogurt Pops

Sugar creates inflammation in the body, which won’t do your immune system any favors. However, the right sweetener, like raw honey, can actually help fortify your defenses.

These creamy, low-sugar ice pops start with a yogurt base to provide immune-boosting probiotics. With mandarin oranges for vitamins C and A and a touch of honey for sweetness, they make for a post-meal indulgence that you can feel good about.

 Servings: 8

 Ingredients:

2 cups plain Greek yogurt ¼ cup raw honey 5 drops orange extract (optional) 1 15-oz. mandarin oranges (canned or fresh)

 Instructions

In a mixing bowl, stir together yogurt, honey and orange extract. If you’re using canned mandarin, drain about half the liquid from the mandarin oranges. Then stir oranges into yogurt mixture. Carefully pour the yogurt filling into Popsicle molds. Freeze for about two hours, or until firm.

Sarah Garone, NDTR, is a nutritionist and food blogger. She has written for HealthDay, The Washington Post, Today’s Parents, and several other publications. Sarah lives with her husband and three children in Mesa, Arizona. Follow her on Twitter

@LoveLetter2Food .

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Parrot precisely imitates the sound of water
Parrots can imitate sounds that not many if any humans can. Listen to Einstein as he makes the sound of liquid being poured into a container, then he makes a dripping sound. He knows he is making the water sound as he says, “water” and that it will make you “all wet!”. Parrots are able to make these sounds because they have an organ in their throats called a syrinx. It gives them much more control over their vocal tract and the ability to produce two sounds at once, Einstein the Talking Texan Parrot is a silly, smart, and popular parrot who loves to talk and entertain! He knows the names of several animals and likes to make their sounds. In addition to his silly vocalizations, he likes to have conversations with his owners, talking, doing animal sound imitations, and acting silly. He also enjoys singing and dancing in some of his video compilations. With his amazing talking abilities and funny antics, Einstein the talking parrot’s videos will keep you entertained for hours! Einstein parrot is also famous for some of his silly quotes and sayings. Online, Einstein, the talking parrot is popular across many social media platforms. Einstein’s favorite places to talk at home is perched on the shower wall, in the kitchen on his drawer, and on his screened-in back porch. As stated on his website, Einstein’s mission statement: “To entertain and bring joy, to foster the human-parrot bond, and to convey that parrots are deserving of immeasurable amounts of patience, nurturing, and companionship.” Einstein’s website, einsteinparrot.com is designed to inform you about the care of parrots and also entertain you. As previously mentioned, Einstein is popular on many social media sites such as YouTube @einsteinparrot, Instagram @einsteinparrot, Twitter @einsteinparrot, and Facebook @einsteintexanparrot. Living with a parrot is a big commitment. Parrots live a very long time. A parrot such as Einstein can live to be 50 or 60 years old. Many larger parrots like Macaws can live to be 100 years old. They all require a lot of care, proper nutrition, training, time, and patience. Parrots need a lot of attention and lots of toys and activities to keep from being bored. Parrots are also expensive, a large cage is an investment, and plenty of play perches to spend out of cage time. Specialized veterinarian care is also required. Most of all they require your companionship and a forever home. Many people decide after the first few years of parrot ownership that the responsibility is too great and the parrots become neglected and sometimes abandoned. When that happens they are sent to parrot rescue facilities to be adopted by a new family or some spend their lives in sanctuaries. It is often said, “Having a parrot is much like raising a raising a 2 to 3-year-old child for the rest of your life!”

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Parrot loves books so much that he gives them kisses
Einstein the parrot gives a friendly greeting by waving and asked, “what colors?” Then he begins to give the books on the bookcase lots of air kisses! He wants raspberries too? You’re so affectionate Einstein! Einstein the Talking Texan Parrot is a silly, smart, and popular parrot who loves to talk and entertain! He knows the names of several animals and likes to make their sounds. In addition to his silly vocalizations, he likes to have conversations with his owners, talking, doing animal sound imitations, and acting silly. He also enjoys singing and dancing in some of his video compilations. With his amazing talking abilities and funny antics, Einstein the talking parrot’s videos will keep you entertained for hours! Einstein parrot is also famous for some of his silly quotes and sayings. Online, Einstein, the talking parrot is popular across many social media platforms. Einstein’s favorite places to talk at home is perched on the shower wall, in the kitchen on his drawer, and on his screened-in back porch. As stated on his website, Einstein’s mission statement: “To entertain and bring joy, to foster the human-parrot bond, and to convey that parrots are deserving of immeasurable amounts of patience, nurturing, and companionship.” Einstein’s website, einsteinparrot.com is designed to inform you about the care of parrots and also entertain you. As previously mentioned, Einstein is popular on many social media sites such as YouTube @einsteinparrot, Instagram @einsteinparrot, Twitter @einsteinparrot, and Facebook @einsteintexanparrot. Living with a parrot is a big commitment. Parrots live a very long time. A parrot such as Einstein can live to be 50 or 60 years old. Many larger parrots like Macaws can live to be 100 years old. They all require a lot of care, proper nutrition, training, time, and patience. Parrots need a lot of attention and lots of toys and activities to keep from being bored. Parrots are also expensive, a large cage is an investment, and plenty of play perches to spend out of cage time. Specialized veterinarian care is also required. Most of all they require your companionship and a forever home. Many people decide after the first few years of parrot ownership that the responsibility is too great and the parrots become neglected and sometimes abandoned. When that happens they are sent to parrot rescue facilities to be adopted by a new family or some spend their lives in sanctuaries. It is often said, “Having a parrot is much like raising a raising a 2 to 3-year-old child for the rest of your life!”

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