When I’m a little stressed and run down from work, my immune system get’s a little tired, so I make a conscious effort to improve the sorts of food I’m getting into my body. Food is one of the most powerful tools we have to help prevent disease and a healthy body begins with a healthy immune system. Over 80% of your immune system is in your gut and what you eat forms forms the foundation of your health. Your immune system maintains homeostasis by defending against viruses and bacteria which can cause inflammation in the body, illness and disease.
I believe that food is most healing when it is close to its original state and has the properties to heal and nourish. I regularly make sure that I’m getting my daily dose of fresh fruits, vegetables and quality protein every day so that my body can repair quickly. I love making fresh vegetable juices scented with anti-inflammatory nutrients such as ginger and turmeric. I also love recipes such as my Immune Boosting Chicken Soup or Super C Immune Boosting Smoothie that make me feel healthy and strong!
My Top 7 Immune Boosting Foods:
Citrus such as oranges, mandarins, grapefruit, lemons and limes are an excellent source of vitamin C which helps maintain the body’s defence against bacterial infections. Citrus has a unique type of fibre that, in studies, appears to dramatically reduce cholesterol.
Carrots contain vitamin A precursors called carotenoids (Beta carotene) that help promote vision and support a healthy immune system.
Curcumin is the active ingredient in Turmeric, responsible for the distinct yellow colouring and the impressive list of health properties. Curcumin is anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant, anti-bacterial, detoxifying and amazing for digestive health. Turmeric has been linked to the prevention of cancer cell growth and management of inflammatory conditions such as arthritis, asthma, eczema and inflammatory bowel disease. It is a nutritional powerhouse, rich in manganese, zinc, B group vitamins and iron
This golden fruit is so nutritionally rich that it is known as the medicine tree in Africa and the Caribbean. The enzyme papain is extracted from papaya, and is beneficial for those with digestive problems. Papaya is a rich source of beta-carotene, which converts to vitamin A in the body and promotes healthy eyes, skin and tissues
Studies have shown that ginger has potent antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties. It helps to boost immune function and combat cellular damage. This gut friendly spice stimulates digestion, gut motility and bowel function, while helping to relieve bloating, cramping and nausea. A recent study also found ginger to be as effective as pharmaceutical agents in relieving PMS pain in women.
Garlic is also an immune system warrior, protecting the body from infections and illnessGarlic contains allicin, a potent phytonutrient that is great for cardiac health. It has been shown to help lower blood pressure, inhibit blood clotting and promote healthy cholesterol levels.
They are jam packed with B group vitamins including thiamine (B1) and B6, which are vital for energy metabolism and nerve function. Pineapples contain the enzyme bromelain, renowned for aiding protein digestion which allows your body to utilise immune boosting amino acids effectively.