Feature image: Zen Green Life
In the spirit of maintaining a PMA (positive mental attitude) during the current uncertainties surrounding the outbreak of COVID-19, we are setting our sights firmly on the things we can do as opposed to things that we can't. Starting with; protecting our immune systems.
Extra helpings of immune-boosting foods are a great way to naturally help your body in it's defence against viruses, both common and uncommon. So what foods are best for boosting your immune system? We've listed some of the key players below, alongside some other useful tips to get you started.
Citrus Fruits –
Everyone knows that citrus fruits are full of vitamin C, that's why they're top of the list! Vitamin C increases the production of white blood cells in the body, which are key for fighting infections. Another glass of fresh orange juice at breakfast? Go on then.
Photo credit: Haarala Hamilton
Red Bell Peppers –
If zingy citrus isn’t something you can get on board with, then trying adding red bell peppers to your meals, this versatile veg actually contains twice as much vitamin C than citrus fruits! Peppers also contain Beta carotene, which keep helps keep your eyes and skin healthy. Win-win.
Photo credit: The Kitchn
Small but mighty! Ginger contains many health-boosting properties and is more notably an anti- inflammatory, which is great for easing a sore throat. Whilst it does pack a punch in flavour, it can help settle nausea and chronic pain too. Add it to your cuppa, slice it in your stir-fry or whizz it up in your morning smoothie.
Photo credit: BBC Good Food
Any green vegetable is always going to be great for you but broccoli is one of the most nutrient-dense foods you can eat. It contains vitamin K, vitamin E, chromium, potassium, magnesium, and folic acid. Plus, it’s loaded with immune-boosting vitamin C and plenty of fibre. Broccoli is best when cooked as little as possible, allowing it to retain all of those nutrients, but if you can't stomach it raw, then Ottolenghi have some easy and delicious broccoli recipes to try.
Photo credit: Ottolenghi
A common ingredient around the world and found in almost every cuisine, the health benefits of garlic have been long-known. Garlic contains vitamins C and B6, manganese and seleniumcan which can help to fight infections and lower blood pressure. Add an extra clove or two to pasta sauces for flavour and an instant immune system boost.
Photo credit: British Heart Foundation
Green Tea –
Both black and green tea contain antioxidants but green tea pips black tea to the post as the real health booster as it contains epigallocatechin gallate, an additional antioxidant proven to enhance the immune system. Like we needed another excuse to pop the kettle on!
Photo credit: The Healthy
Whilst diet is important, exercise is a also proven mood-booster. Studies have shown that taking a brisk walk, a few times a week can help to reduce inflammation and the risk of chronic diseases and accelerate the circulation of white blood cells around the body, subsequently helping the body to fight off viruses. Head to parks and open green spaces to adhere to social distancing recommendations while getting some much needed exercise.
Photo credit: Stylist
Stay well, stay informed and if you are practising self-isolation, read our tips for survival here.