7 Immune-Boosting Breakfast Recipes Nutritionists Love
No one likes being sick. As a teenager, I remember attempting to cure an unwanted cold with a tall glass of refreshing orange juice or to soothe a stabbing sore throat with hot tea loaded with honey and lemon juice. In the many years since, nutrition research has come a long way in establishing the immune-supporting benefits of several nutrient-rich foods. While no single food can directly “boost” our immune system, a diet rich in certain antioxidants and phytonutrients can help to keep our germ-fighting system strong. What better way to get started than focusing on immune-boosting breakfast recipes?
With so many delicious options, it’s easier than you may think to prepare your own immune-boosting breakfast recipes. Take some inspiration from these gorgeous dishes created by registered dietitians. Whether you prefer your breakfast sweet or savory, there’s something for everyone.
1. Creamy Orange Overnight Oats
This vanilla and orange flavor combo remind me of a childhood ice cream treat while packing 24 grams of protein and several immune-supporting ingredients. Make your gut happy with probiotics from Greek yogurt and prebiotic fiber from old-fashioned oats. The mandarins bring vitamin C, while the almonds and hemp seeds contain vitamin E. It’s like sunshine in a jar that can be prepped the night before to grab and go on busy mornings.
Try the recipe at Nutrition Starring YOU.
2. Green Tea Smoothie Bowl with Raspberries
Toby Amidor, MS, RD, CDN, FAND award-winning nutrition expert and author of The Family Immunity Cookbook loves this smoothie bowl because “green tea contains a plethora of polyphenols, powerful antioxidants shown to help fight disease. It also provides other immunity-boosting antioxidants including vitamins C and E. The raspberries also provide anthocyanins, a powerful antioxidant shown to help reduce inflammation and enhance the body’s ability to fight infection.”
Try the recipe at Toby Amidor Nutrition.
3. Mushroom Toast
Fresh mushrooms are a nutritional powerhouse filled with immune-supporting nutrients like vitamin D, selenium, zinc, copper, and B vitamins, says Mackenzie Burgess, RDN, registered dietitian nutritionist and recipe developer at Cheerful Choices. As an example, “just 4 cremini mushrooms provide 44% of your RDA for copper and 38% for selenium – two nutrients that help prevent cell damage and keep our immune system healthy. Additionally, just a handful of UV-exposed mushrooms can be an excellent source of vitamin D, which is very helpful considering over 40% of the population may be deficient”, says Burgess.
As an easy breakfast, Burgess loves making elevated mushroom toast topped with mashed avocado, caramelized mushrooms, and protein-packed hemp seeds. This 4-ingredient recipe is super simple to make and provides 9 grams of protein per slice. In addition to immune-supporting mushrooms, avocados contain important nutrients like vitamin E, vitamin B6, and magnesium, which keep our immune system strong against viruses and bacteria.
Try the recipe at Cheerful Choices.
4. Chocolate Chia Pudding
“Chia seeds are an excellent source of fiber, omega-3 fats, bioactive peptides, antioxidants, and B-vitamins all of which play a role in supporting our immune system”, says Kristi Ruth RD/RDN, CNSC, LDN of Carrots & Cookies. “If you top this chia pudding with fresh raspberries as the recipe suggests, you’ll have the added benefit of the immune-boosting properties from polyphenols found in raspberries,” says Ruth.
Try the recipe at Carrots & Cookies.
5. Breakfast Salad with Smoked Salmon & Poached Eggs
Maya Feller, MS, RD, CDN of Brooklyn-based Maya Feller Nutrition and author of Eating from Our Roots: 80+ Healthy Home-Co shares, “this recipe is supportive of whole body and immune health because it’s rich in plants, high-quality protein, and omega-three fatty acids. Plants provide nutrients that support the health of our cells and act as nourishment for the good bugs living in our gut. Both eggs and smoked salmon help to increase the bioavailability of fat-soluble vitamins.“
Try the recipe at Maya Feller Nutrition.
6. Open Face Breakfast Pita
Maya Oueichek, MBA, RDN says “this recipe supports immunity because it contains several ingredients that have been shown to support a healthy immune system. The egg is a great source of high-quality protein which is essential for building and repairing tissues and for the production of antibodies that fight infections. Avocados are an excellent source of healthy monounsaturated fats, which have been shown to support a healthy immune system by reducing inflammation. Arugula is a great source of vitamin A which plays a critical role in the development and maintenance of immune cells, while vitamin C helps to stimulate the production of white blood cells that fight infection.”
Try the recipe at Mayazbites.
7. Bean, Eggs, and Avocado Burrito
“When we think of foods that boost our immune system, we immediately think of berries, citrus fruits, and several vegetables, but what about beans? Nutrient-rich beans are an excellent source of protein, which plays a vital role in building cells, including those of your immune system,” she says. “Also, a serving of beans provides important nutrients such as fiber, potassium, folate, iron, and magnesium while containing no cholesterol, saturated fat, or trans fats. Add them to any meal occasion even breakfast!”
Serve beans with other nutrients dense foods such as avocados, tomatoes, and grains for maximum benefit.
Try the recipe at Hispanic Food Communications.