We all know the importance of looking after our immune systems, especially during the winter months. To give your immune systems an extra boost, make healthy lifestyle choices – it’s another great way to stave off those little bugs that can run us down.
Healthy immune systems rely on well-fed warriors. There are a few micronutrient deficiencies – like zinc, selenium, iron, folic acid and vitamins A, B6, C and E - that alter the strength of our immune systems, underscoring the importance of a nutritionally-balanced diet. While no single food can prevent disease, these five super foods can help keep your immune system strong.
It’s not just an old wives’ tale that vitamin C can help keep colds away – it’s science. Your body doesn’t produce or store it, so you need daily vitamin C for continued health. Vitamin C helps to increase the production of white blood cells, which are key for fighting off infections. Grapefruit are a great option for breakfast, and oranges and mandarins make awesome between-meal snacks.
Broccoli is loaded with vitamins and minerals, including vitamin A, C and E, as well as lots of fibre and antioxidants. It’s an all-round health boost. Keep all of its goodness by cooking it as little as possible – steaming is best, like in our Roast Beef with Pumpkin and Broccoli dish.
Experts think ginger can help decrease inflammation, which can help sort out a sore throat and ward of dangerous inflammatory conditions. It’s also thought to help with nausea, decrease chronic pain and lower cholesterol. You’ll find ginger in a lot of our Indian lifestyle meals, like this delicious Indian Rogan Josh.
Yoghurt with live and active cultures can stimulate your immune system and help fight disease. You’ll also get a bit of vitamin A and zinc from a meal that contains yoghurt. We love adding yoghurt as a cooling, refreshing element in our dishes, like the minted yoghurt in this Indian Chicken Biryani.
Get some chicken soup brewing! Chicken is high in vitamin B-6, and 100g of chicken contains more than a third of your daily recommended amount of vitamin B-6, which is vital to the formation of new and healthy red blood cells. Chicken’s also high in protein, which means it keep you full for longer. This Chicken with Crushed New Potatoes is one of our favourites.