Super Foods for Super Health

By: Alexandra Jasinowski

During the winter months, we tend to become more susceptible to illnesses. One way to fight back is by eating foods that enhance your immune system. I have made a list of vegetables, fruits, dairy products, beverages, and spices that help protect our bodies from illnesses. These foods contain all different types of protective properties such as high antioxidants, anti-inflammatories, high concentration in vitamins and minerals, cardio- and neuro-protection, antimicrobial (kills bacteria), and healthy cellular growth.

Most of these super-powered foods contain antioxidants. I bet you have heard that word before—but do you know what it means or why it is important? In the environment and in your body there are free-floating oxygen molecules (free radicals) that are highly reactive and cause damage to everything they touch. The reason why we do not see damage all over or in our bodies is because our immune system fixes this damage. Antioxidants help the immune system get rid of the damage caused the by free-floating oxygen and also helps get rid of the free radicals themselves. Anti-oxidants help prevent cancer because cancer cells are damaged cells and the antioxidants help fix the damage and counteract the free floating oxygen that caused the damage.

Here is a list of foods that help improve your body’s ability to ward of illness:


Broccoli – high in vitamins (A and C), minerals (calcium, potassium, and folate), and antioxidants

Bell peppers – has more vitamin C than oranges; vitamin C (powerful antioxidant)

Sweet potatoes – high in antioxidants

Arugula – full of minerals and antioxidants; protects against toxins

Kale – full of vitamins (A, C, and K), minerals (calcium, potassium, and iron), and antioxidants

Pumpkins – high in vitamin A and beta carotene; cancer preventive by improving cell to cell communication


Berries – high in anti-oxidants, anti-inflammatory properties, some have anti-carcinogen properties other than the ones from antioxidants, and some help with allergies

Kiwis – higher in vitamin C than oranges; works as blood thinner and can help protect you from blood clots

Dairy products:

Yogurt – contains good bacteria that fights against bad bacteria, which protects the bodies immune system (AKA probiotics)


Green tea – I could write pages on how amazing this is! Put simply though it is high in antioxidants, anti-inflammatory, cardio- and neuro-protective effects, and anti-carcinogenic benefits (especially breast and prostate)

Coffee – very high in antioxidants

Pomegranate juice – very high in antioxidants and vitamin C; promotes cardiovascular health


Garlic – helps fight off bacterial, viral, fungal, and parasitic infections; lowers bad cholesterol (LDLs) and increases good cholesterol (HDLs) and helps prevent blood clots

Ginger – anti-inflammatory and reduces vomiting and nausea

Oregano – high in antioxidants, anti-inflammatory benefits, and antimicrobial properties

Turmeric – anti-inflammatory benefits and antiseptic qualities

These are bunch of amazing foods that taste great, too. And we’re lucky in Vermont that we can purchase many of them from local producers

If you have any questions about these superfoods—or would like to share your favorite recipe using one or more of the above ingredients—please post in the Comments section, below!

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