Finals and the holidays are just around the corner, and the last thing you need is to get sick. Do your housemates a favor and bump up your immune system with these nutritious and delicious foods.
This vibrant looking fruit is in season from September to February, and pomegranate’s sweet-tart flavor makes it extremely versatile. Try a pomegranate-based syrup to eat with waffles or French toast, or sprinkle pomegranate seeds on a honey-topped greek yogurt for a hearty breakfast. Not a fan of the crunchy seeds? Crack open a juice like Pom, which can be found year-round on most grocery store shelves.
2. Acai Berry
The food of hipsters, acai has dominated Instagram with colorful pictures of acai bowls. Acai bowls can be quite pricey, and you can just as easily make your own at home. What college student wouldn’t like to save a shiny penny? Take one cup of frozen acai puree and pop it in a blender with half a frozen banana, half a cup of frozen blueberries, and two-thirds cup almond milk. Sweeten with honey if needed and decorate (you can get competitive with this) with sliced strawberries, raspberries, and granola chunks. The result is a breakfast bowl that’s packed with protein and powerful antioxidants to fight off the winter flu.
Tea is another great source of disease-fighting antioxidants. Go beyond your typical green and black teas and try something exciting, like “Sugar Plum Spice” by tea manufacturer Celestial Seasonings, or “Blood Orange Sorbet Oolong Tea” by the popular tea franchise Teavana. Are you a late-night (tea) drinker, but worried the caffeine will keep you up? You might be craving that herbal and sweet aroma of tea but are haunted by the thought of waking early for your 8AM lecture. Worry not! There are plenty of teas that contain little to no caffeine. Popular caffeine-free teas include chamomile tea and peppermint tea.
4. Bell Peppers
Whether they’re green or yellow or red, every crunchy bite of a bell pepper is loaded with vitamins and minerals, and their tangy zing adds a kick to every dish they’re in. Lightly sautée these colorful wedges in a stir-fry, toss in a pasta or, for the ambitious chef, roast seasoned bell peppers stuffed with ground beef, mushrooms, and fresh herbs.
Esther Chen is a fourth year student studying clinical nutrition at University of California, Davis. She hopes to complete a dietetic internship and become a registered dietitian.