Love tomatoes and pasta? Did you know they can be combined to boost your immune system? This healthy pasta recipe does just that.
Every day, your immune system battles the millions of bacteria, microbes, toxins and viruses that try to invade your body. But this complex and highly interactive network of organs and specialized cells can help keep you healthy only if it's healthy itself. So how do you make sure your immune system stays strong? Along with getting enough sleep and exercise, and keeping your stress level down, a low-fat, high-fiber, nutrient-rich diet will keep your immune system in top-notch condition. Research suggests that the following vitamins and minerals, in particular, regulate a wide variety of immune system functions:
- Vitamin A
- B-complex vitamins
- Vitamin C
While it's a good idea to take a vitamin and mineral supplement to ensure you're getting the nutrition your body needs, you obviously want to get as many immunity-boosting nutrients as you can from the food you eat. The following recipe, rich in the vitamins and minerals listed above, offers a delicious way to keep your immune system strong:
Mexican Pasta Serves 4
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 3 green onions, thinly sliced
- 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 1/2 lb lean ground beef or ground turkey
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 can (14½ oz) stewed tomatoes, chopped
- 1 jalapeño pepper, finely chopped
- 1/3 cup shredded Monterey Jack or cheddar cheese
- 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
- 8 oz package bow- or corkscrew-shaped whole wheat pasta
- Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain well and place in a large bowl.
- Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add green onions and garlic and cook 30 seconds.
- Crumble in ground beef. Sprinkle with chili powder and salt. Cook, stirring frequently, about 5 minutes, or until beef is no longer pink.
- Add tomatoes and their juices, and jalapeño. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium; cover and cook 5 minutes.
- Pour sauce over pasta.
- Sprinkle with cheese and cilantro. Toss to mix.