02 November 2018 at 14:45
Top 6 Immune Boosting Foods
Now that summer’s come to an end, it’s time to make sure your immune system is in tip-top condition to avoid those winter bugs. Here are 6 of the best immune boosting foods to add to your shopping basket this winter:
Garlic has been recognised since ancient times for fighting infection. It contains a compound called allicin, which stimulates white blood cells and gives it powerful antibacterial and anti-viral properties.
TRY – ferment garlic cloves in Manuka honey, for a palatable alternative to raw garlic.
Natural yogurt, rich in probiotic bacteria, increases the proportion of T-lymphocytes (a type of white blood cell) and helps keep the gut free from pathogenic bacteria.
TRY – whip up a quick dip using organic yogurt, a teaspoon of olive oil and a sprinkle of black pepper and use instead of creamy dressings
Blackcurrants contain four times as much immune-boosting vitamin C as oranges, so are well worth adding to your shopping list!
TRY – whizz into a smoothie with plain yogurt, or blend with sweeter fruits like cherries and strawberries to make a tasty sorbet.
Coconut oil contains lauric acid - a natural antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal agent which helps the body to fight infections.
TRY – a spoonful of coconut oil in your morning coffee is all the rage to boost metabolism, but if you don’t like the idea of oily coffee then simply use it in place of other oils for cooking. Coconut oil is stable at high temperatures, so doesn’t damage when heated.
Kale is full of vitamins A, C, and E and useful phytonutrients. Brassicas such as kale and broccoli have also been shown to produce immune boosting compounds during digestion.
TRY – steam lightly to retain the maximum amount of nutrients, then drizzle with olive oil, lemon juice and pine nuts for an instant snack or side-dish.
Sunflower seeds contain healthy fats and are rich in vitamin E, which is often overlooked in favour of other antioxidants.
TRY – sprinkle raw seeds onto porridge or salads, or combine with freshly ground almonds (another great source of vitamin E) for a nutty bite.
If you want to know more about Nutrition why not try one of The School of Health's Nutrition Courses.