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Give Your Body an Immunity Boost

Give Your Body an Immunity Boost

It’s the time of year when every little cough or sneeze from a coworker or family member has you reaching for the hand sanitizer.

Yes, it’s true that hand-washing and steering clear of your runny-nosed neighbor are good strategies for avoiding a cold or flu. But why not give yourself an extra advantage with a few simple high-powered, immunity-boosting foods?

In addition to a healthy diet and exercise, these everyday ingredients offer immunity-boosting properties to help you get well and even better, stay well.


In addition to being a home remedy often used to ease nausea, studies show ginger may help activate T-cells, an important part of the immune system capable of destroying cells infected by virus.


With more than 100 sulfuric compounds for wiping out bacteria and infection, garlic is hailed as an immune-boosting superstar. To maximize its effects, allow it to sit at room temperature for 15 minutes after crushing or chopping. This helps facilitate an enzyme reaction that boosts the good-for-you compounds.


Probiotics found in yogurt are beneficial bacteria that can restore balance in the digestive tract. However, the organisms commonly used in regular yogurt do not survive in the gastrointestinal tract. Look for yogurts that contain probiotic bacteria such as Lactobacillus acidophilus, bifidobacteria and Lactobacillus casei.


Research from the Linus Pauling Institute at Oregon State University found that one of the compounds in green tea plays a powerful role in immune function by affecting the number of virus destroying T-cells. For an added boost, stir in a teaspoon of honey, which is said to contain antibacterial properties.


A rich source of zinc, iron, copper and selenium—four nutrients that work together to regulate your immune system—this sesame seed paste is the nutty-flavored power food most commonly found in hummus. Two tablespoons contains 1.4mg of zinc, nearly 20% of the daily recommended intake.


While it’s not the cure we sometimes believe it to be, hot soup can improve the functions of the tiny hair-like parts, called cilia, in the nasal passages. These help protect the body from infections and viral invaders. Plus, soup is a nourishing, hydrating meal that just makes you feel good.

To help you start boosting your immune system, try Pyrex® recipes with these ingredients that ward off everyday ailments.


YIELD: 6 servings
PREP TIME: 25 minutes
TOTAL TIME: 1 hour 40 minutes

2 medium zucchini and 1 yellow squash, cut lengthwise in half, then crosswise into 1-inch slices
2 medium parsnips, peeled, cut into 1-inch pieces (2 cups)
2 cans (14.5 oz each) diced tomatoes, with basil, garlic and oregano, undrained
2 cups bite-size fresh or frozen broccoli florets
1 medium onion, coarsely chopped (1/2 cup)
1/2 cup uncooked quick-cooking barley
1/2 cup water
1/2 teaspoon seasoned salt
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

Heat oven to 375°F. Mix ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Pour ingredients in an ungreased PYREX® EASY GRAB™ 3 QUART OBLONG BAKING DISH. Cover with foil.

Bake 1 hour to 1 hour 15 minutes or until vegetables and barley are tender.


YIELD: 6 servings
PREP TIME: 25 minutes
TOTAL TIME: 55 minutes

2-1/2 cups uncooked rotini pasta (8 oz)
2 tablespoons butter
1 medium bell pepper (any color), chopped
1 small onion, chopped (1/4 cup)
1 can (4.5 oz) green chiles, drained
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1 teaspoon ground mustard
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups fat-free plain yogurt (from 2-lb container)
4 oz reduced-fat Mexican prepared cheese product (from 16-oz loaf), cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 cup shredded reduced-fat Mexican cheese blend (4 oz)
1/4 cup unseasoned dry bread crumbs
3 green onions, sliced

Heat oven to 375°F. Spray PYREX® EASY GRAB™ 2 QUART OBLONG BAKING DISH with cooking spray. Cook and drain pasta as directed on package, using minimum cook time.

Meanwhile, in 3-quart saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Add bell pepper, onion, chiles, garlic, mustard, salt, pepper and garlic; cook 5 to 7 minutes, stirring occasionally, until bell pepper is softened. Stir in flour until blended. Cook and stir over medium-low heat until bubbly. Remove from heat.

Stir in yogurt; mix well. Gently stir in cheeses and cooked pasta. Spoon mixture into baking dish. Sprinkle with bread crumbs.

Bake uncovered about 25 minutes or until bubbly. Sprinkle with green onions. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.


YIELD: 6 servings
PREP TIME: 30 minutes
TOTAL TIME: 1 hour 15 minutes

1 medium leek, cut lengthwise in half, then cut crosswise into 1/2-inch pieces
2 lb dark-skinned sweet potatoes (about 6 medium), peeled, cut into 1-inch pieces
4 cloves garlic, peeled
1/3 to 1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup butter, softened
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1/3 cup seasoned dry bread crumbs
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

Heat oven to 375°F. Spray PYREX® EASY GRAB™ 3 QUART OBLONG BAKING DISH with cooking spray.

Spray 3-quart saucepan with cooking spray; heat over medium heat. Add leeks; cook about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until white parts are translucent. Remove from pan; set aside.

In same saucepan, heat 1 inch of water to boiling. Add sweet potatoes and garlic. Heat to boiling; reduce heat. Cover and simmer 10 to 12 minutes or until potatoes are tender; drain. Mash potatoes and garlic with potato masher or fork. Stir in milk, butter, salt and pepper. Fold in leeks; spread in baking dish.

In small bowl, mix bread crumbs, cheese and parsley; sprinkle evenly over sweet potato mixture.

Bake uncovered 30 minutes or until bubbly and topping is light golden brown. If topping begins to brown too quickly, cover loosely with foil.


YIELD: 8 servings
PREP TIME: 10 minutes
TOTAL TIME: 1 hour

2-2/3 cups old-fashioned oats
2 cups chopped peeled mango
1/2 cup dried cherries
2 tablespoons finely chopped crystallized ginger
1-1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 cups vanilla soymilk
1/4 cup real maple or maple-flavored syrup
Additional soymilk
Chopped toasted walnuts

Heat oven to 350°F. Spray PYREX® EASY GRAB™ 2 QUART OBLONG BAKING DISH with cooking spray. Stir together oats, mango, cherries, ginger, cinnamon, salt, soymilk and syrup in a mixing bowl

Bake uncovered 45 to 50 minutes or until most of liquid is absorbed. Serve with additional soymilk; sprinkle with walnuts.