Cold and flu season has well and truly hit… so what foods should we be eating to help give our immune systems that extra boost?
Full disclosure, you don’t need to spend extra money on supplements or fancy elixirs… (YAY!)
Lots (and lots) of veg
That’s right, these guys are nutrient powerhouses packed with minerals, antioxidants and vitamins that our immune system (and whole body) loves. Aim for half a plate of veg at lunch and dinner and plenty of variety! Different veg contain different nutrients, so make your plate colourful.
Did you know... Our chefs use only locally sourced, fresh vegetables in our dishes and most of our meals contain 2+ serves of veg!
Two per day is what we are after and choosing those rich in vitamin C are going to help fight off the bad guys! Think of your citrus, kiwi fruits and berries. Add them to breakfast, smoothies or simply as a snack.
Try our Orange Lemon Chicken for a Vitamin C kick!
Cook with garlic & onion
Not great for the breath but they are for your immune system! Their compounds help activate our immune fighting cells and can help reduce our risk of catching a cold, as well as the severity and duration. Crush, dice, slice and add these to soups, sauces, stews, stir-fries, marinades, burgers… any dish really?
Did you know…We use fresh and locally sourced garlic and onion in our dishes.
Nuts and seeds contain Vitamin E, which acts to protect our immune cells from damage. They also contain other immune boosting nutrients including zinc, selenium and healthy fats. If nuts aren’t your thing, oils, avocado and fish are also rich sources of healthy fats.
Idea: If fish is your forte try our Brazilian Fish Stew. Perfect weather for it!
Look after the good bugs
The health of our gut bugs is vital for our overall health, including our bodies ability to deal with bacteria and viruses. Probiotics (aka the good bacteria) are found in fermented foods such as yoghurt, certain cheeses, kombucha, probiotic drinks, kimchi, tempeh, miso. Prebiotics feed this good bacteria in our gut, promoting their growth and keeping them happy. These include difficult to digest dietary fibres, such as those found in fibrous veg, fruits and legumes. Include both in your diet to keep your gut microbiome working at its best!
Nothing fancy here! It’s really no surprise that water makes this list, after all hydration is pretty important! Water helps carry oxygen around the body, supplying systems with adequate oxygen to function properly, as well as flush toxins from the body. Aim for 2-3L daily!
So there you have it, some top tips to help keep your immune system fighting fit this cold and flu season!
Take home message... eat a healthy balanced diet and focus on real whole food!
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