I make roasted sweet potatoes all the time. I’m also obsessed with Mexican food. And thus, my two culinary favorites collide with these delicious “Sweet Potato Nachos.” I don’t recall everything I learned in chemistry class, but if I remember correctly, Einstein’s 7th law of Science is that once you top something with guacamole, nothing can go wrong. I think. Yeah that’s what it was.
I also learned a thing or two in my numerous college nutrition classes (and this part is accurate)! Sweet potatoes are filled with vitamin A and vitamin E known to fight off illness and support a healthy immune system. We’re nearing the time of year when tests are getting harder, study sessions are going later, and stress levels are rising. The combination of these things almost indefinitely ends in sniffles, coughs, and the overall feeling of ughhhh. In college, these periods of increased stress are often inevitable. Keeping up with a healthy diet and choosing nutrient dense foods can be a huge help in fighting off sickness.
In addition to sweet potatoes, there are a number of foods you can eat to help boost your immune system. Some of these foods include:
Chicken Soup: I love eating chicken soup when I’m sick, but to be totally honest, I thought it was a myth that there was any kind of health benefit. As it turns out, chicken soup contains a chemical known as carnosine that’s been shown to protect your body from the flu virus. In addition, research by the University of Nebraska reported that of 13 brands tested, all but one (Ramen…sad day) helped to prevent the accumulation of white blood cells in the bronchial tubes. It is this build up that is often responsible for cold symptoms.
Grapefruit: Grapefruit is packed full of vitamin C, an immune boosting essential. Vitamin C has been shown to increase the production of antibodies and white blood cells, helping to protect cells from viruses. It is also believed that consuming vitamin C can help to decrease the duration of cold symptoms. If you’re going to have a cold, it might as well be a quick one, right? Similar benefits are seen in a number of other citrus fruits including lemons, limes and oranges.
Carrots: Carrots are a fantastic source of beta carotene, which acts to support the body’s membranes lining the respiratory and intestinal tracts. Properly maintained mucus membranes can help to keep bad bacteria out of the bloodstream, thus, preventing infection and illness. For an delicious way to eat carrots, try this super easy recipe for Oven Roasted Parmesan Carrots!
Yogurt: Yogurt contains good bacteria that helps to maintain a healthy environment in your intestinal tract. This prevents germs, bad bacteria and pathogens from entering your bloodstream. The combination of these mechanisms helps to give your immune system a much needed boost.
Tea: Tea contains catechins, a type of antioxidant believed to prevent against flu infection. Apart from its chemical components, a warm cup of tea can help to break up chest congestion and sooth a sore throat. In the peak of cold and flu season, consider swapping a caffeinated tea for your normal cup of coffee.
Now let’s get back to why you’re all really here – roasted sweet potato nachos covered in salsa, guac and seasoned sour cream! You’re going to absolutely love this super simple and (secretly) immune boosting recipe. Find the ingredient list and instructions below!
- 1-2 sweet potatoes
- olive oil
- taco seasoning packet
- seasoned sour cream (1/2 cup greek yogurt or sour cream + ½ packet taco seasoning)
- lazy guacamole (1 mashed avocado + juice from ½ a lime!)
- diced onion
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees
- Cut sweet potatoes into wedges
- Place wedges on a baking sheet, and drizzle with olive oil; toss the wedges to evenly coat each piece with oil
- Sprinkle the sweet potato wedges with about ½ packet of taco seasoning. Feel free to add more or less based on your personal preference!
- Bake for 30 minutes until the sweet potato wedges are tender
- Arrange baked sweet potato wedges and top with the toppings of your choice!
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