Food, and what we consume on a daily basis, has far-reaching benefits for our health, one of which is to bolster and support our immune system.
While there are a million supplements and products out there, all of which claim to strengthen and boost our health, it is in fact the basics that will help you the most. Things that probably won’t be ground-breaking for you, but when done consistently, will have the biggest impact on your immune system.
Fruits, vegetables, herbs and spices
Something we all know we should consume more of, but often forget, fruits and vegetables really are the elixir of life. They contain so many beneficial vitamins and minerals that keep us healthy and the variety in our plant-based choices is essential. All of the different colours of the rainbow we see in fruits and vegetables represent different micronutrients, all of which are important for an immune system on top of its game. Herbs and spices, in particular, are packed full of good stuff, which in a plant protect them from predators, and when we consume them we take on some of their super, protective powers. Herbs and spices shouldn’t just be for decorative purposes on your food. Get them into salads, smoothies, and all of your meals wherever possible!
The power of fibre
Fibre, the indigestible part of plants, plays a vital role for keeping our gut health in check. In our gut lives a colony of bacteria, known as our gut microbiome. These bacteria break down fibre for us and use the leftover materials to form chemicals and hormones that feed into a healthy immune system. More fibre equals a happier immune system. Think wholegrains, skin-on fruits and veggies, nuts, seeds, whole bran and other fibre rich foods.
The Holy Trinity
Covid has placed an even greater emphasis on ensuring that we all head into the colder months with a strong immune system, and during this time there are three key ingredients that we should always up our intake of. These are ginger, garlic and turmeric. Each of these has amazing health benefits and in combination are a force to be reckoned with! Why not start the day with a little shot which includes a thumb-sized piece of peeled, fresh ginger and turmeric, one peeled garlic clove, the juice of half a lemon, a pinch of black pepper and just a dash of honey. Add a few tablespoons of water to thin it out, then blitz in a blender and down the hatch! Or if you can’t stomach that, simply get more of these into your cooking!
Here is a list of 15 super foods that are best to boost your immune system so try and include as many of them as possible in your diet….
Red bell peppers
An immune-boosting smoothie is always a good idea. By snacking on something as easy as a smoothie, you can jam-pack your body with antioxidants, vitamins and more superfoods that kick-start your immune system into gear. Smoothies are all the rage these days, as they are easy to make, totally filling, and can give your body a plethora of health benefits.
Create your own smoothie by choosing two or three of the immune boosters listed below, plus protein sources if required, and one milk option.
Alternatively, why not try one of these delicious recipes!
Supporting immunity has never been as important as it is right now, and good nutrition and positive lifestyle habits can actually help strengthen the immune system and make us feel better equipped to face life’s challenges.
Posted by Michelle Winton
Images & recipes courtesy of MOB Group & Press Association