A balanced diet coupled with plenty of water and daily exercise isn’t a new idea - but in a world where we are bombarded with new health fads, diets, supplements and medications, we can easily forget the basics.
With health under the microscope this year as a result of the global Corona Virus Pandemic, and the current cold and flu season in our part of the world, it may now be more important than ever, to ritualise clean and healthy eating to support your immune system and to optimise our body’s ability to fight infection. In other words - it is time to build up your ‘immunity!'
We explore in the blog what types of nutrients the body needs to build immunity, in what foods they can be found - and the fun part - what to make to eat after you have stocked up on the good stuff.
Keep it simple
A well rounded nutritious diet, made up of plenty of seasonal fruit and veg is ideal for immunity and your general health.
A good rule of thumb is to eat the rainbow - vibrant, fresh fruit and vegetables. They are full of ideal amounts of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.
There are of course specific nutrients that really pack a punch when you want to further boost your immunity.
Vitamin C - Citrus, oranges, grapefruit
We all have several different types of white blood cells, and each play their role in fighting off illness, viruses and bacteria. Vitamin C helps stimulate the production and function of these white blood cells. It also helps your body produce important antibodies and is also packed with antioxidants that protect those white blood cells from toxic compounds and pathogens.
Zinc - Pumpkin seeds, fortified cereals, nuts, whole grains such as quinoa, brown rice and barley, green vegetables
Zinc is essential for keeping the immune system strong by ensuring the normal development and function of the cells that control the immune response. Zinc deficiency results in increased susceptibility to viruses and infections.
Recipe: Zinc-Rich Juice and Smoothie
Allicin - Garlic
The active compound found in garlic, allicin, has antibacterial properties that can help to prevent illness and infection. The benefits are ultimately in its anti-inflammatory properties, which help to keep the immune system working at its best and also have shown to boost white blood cells.
Recipe: Roasted garlic bisque
Beta Glucan - Rolled oats, seaweed, algae, shitake mushrooms
Beta-glucan is a type of soluble fibre and can help to activate immune cells and trigger a defence response. Beta-glucan has also been linked to lowering cholesterol levels, regulating blood sugar levels, improving heart health.
Antioxidants - Berries, Fruits & veggies, Green tea
Antioxidants prevent some of the damage caused by free radicals by neutralising them and stop them from damaging your health.
Recipe: Black Rice Buddha Bowl
So, keep it simple - eat the rainbow, nurture your body and “let food be thy medicine”.
Your immune system will thank you and you will feel the glow from the inside-out.