Eat Green Veggies For a Strong Immune System

| 11/30/2011 11:14:19 AM

J.PattonMom always said to eat your vegetables. And, as always, Mom was right. Researchers have found that eating green vegetables can help your immune system function at its best this winter.

The study, which appeared in the journal Cell, a Cell Press publication, found that when we eat green vegetables, it creates a chemical signal that is vital to a fully functioning, healthy immune system. Researchers found mice that ate more green vegetables had more protective cells and were less likely to get sick. When they did get sick, the mice who ate their veggies recovered more quickly than those who did not eat many greens.

Even though the study hasn’t been applied to humans just yet, there are many other reasons to eat your veggies this winter. Here are a few, from the folks at the United States Department of Agriculture:

• Eating your leafy greens as part of an overall healthy diet may reduce your risk for heart disease, including stroke and heart attack.
• Munching on a few sticks of broccoli regularly can reduce your risk for certain types of cancer.
• A diet rich in vegetables may help prevent obesity and type 2 diabetes. It could also reduce your risk for high blood pressure and kidney stones.

Cooking flavorful vegetable-based dishes, such as this steak stir-fry,
can help add veggies to your diet without your taste buds noticing a thing.
Photo by chuckwaters83/Courtesy

Of course, your taste buds may not always agree that eating vegetables is what’s best. However, here are some tips to help fit them into your diet: