03 Jun Superfoods to boost immune system
A healthy, balanced diet is the ideal way to fuel your body with all the vitamins and nutrients it needs to function at optimal levels. With the coronavirus ongoing spread, more focus should be placed onto strengthening our immune system to help protect us from developing COVID-19-related health ailments. Social distancing has led to more home-cooked meals and it is strongly recommended to incorporate healthier foods into our diet that can boost immunity during the current challenging times. A truly healthy immune system depends on a balanced mix of vitamins and minerals over time, plus normal sleep patterns and a hefty dose of exercise. It’s always best to get nutrition from natural sources, like food, and not relying on supplements for nutrition. Diet is key!
Your immune system is what protects your body against infection and disease. Different ways of eating a variety of superfoods affects your immune system. The table below helps to explain the role each nutrient plays in your immune system:
While we are fighting the threat of coronavirus, keeping our immunity strong is imperative. Too many of us don’t eat enough of the fresh fruits, vegetables and other foods we need to keep ourselves healthy all year-round. This is the perfect time to re-visit your “regular” shopping list and make a few restorative changes. Shops may be running low on toilet paper and hand sanitizer, but you’ll still find plenty of the following superfood ingredients. Here are 10 simple superfood options to boost your immunity with:
Renowned for its powerful antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties, turmeric is used as another line of defence against colds and seasonal flus. An immunity-boosting superfood. Turmeric has a very mild taste and can be added to rice or lentils, curries or vegetables. You can also combine a generous pinch of turmeric with a dash of pepper, into ½ tsp raw honey as a daily tonic.
- Nuts and seeds
Almonds, groundnuts, dates, apricots, sesame seeds and sunflower seeds are all rich in zinc, magnesium and omega-3 that helps to boost immunity. They are rich sources of vitamin A, D, E and K which work together to prevent and fight colds.
An excellent anti-inflammatory that can be added into most foods and is especially beneficial when consumed raw. It is a versatile superfood that promotes strong gut health and is essential for immunity.
- Raw honey
Raw honey is honey that has not been processed in any way and is in its purest form, contains powerful antioxidants and antibacterial and antifungal properties. A teaspoon should be consumed daily for a great immunity booster.
A powerhouse of nutrition with its multitude of vitamins, antioxidants, and calcium, the leafy cruciferous vegetable is well-equipped to protect the body from unwanted invasions such as viruses, making it one of the best greens to consume now.
High quality Greek yogurt specifically has a high probiotic content. Probiotics are the “good bacteria” that protects the body from other, more harmful bacteria. This promotes a healthy gut and strong immunity.
Vitamin C is what we all need loads of right now. Try many options from zesty lemonades, popsicles, cakes, roasts, and many more! Pomegranate is another alternative for a vitamin C boost.
Onions contain antioxidant, antibacterial and immune-boosting nutrients like zinc and vitamin C. They are most effective when consumed in raw form. Most family members will happily eat raw onions in salsas, potato salad, noodle salad and other dishes too.
Garlic is a powerful anti-inflammatory and antibacterial superfood and is best consumed raw for maximum benefit! Try crushing some raw garlic into butter and spreading it on toasted buns for homemade garlic bread for pesky eaters.
Fish can be a good source of protein and omega-3 fatty acids, which help prevent heart disease. Buy fresh, frozen, or canned fish.
In these worrying coronavirus times, the best thing you can do for yourself and your family is not only to enforce liberal handwashing, but to keep everyone healthy, happy and strong. This is a great opportunity to spend more time focussing on simple, healthy and nutritious meals packed with superfoods to build everyone’s immune system.