10 superfoods that help boost our immune systems
Now that Covid-19 has turned the world’s attention to the immune system and everything that we come into contact with, the best place to start to boost our immune systems is in the kitchen.
Our immune system is the body’s multi-level defence network against potentially harmful bacteria, viruses and other organisms. While eating certain foods won’t prevent us from getting coronavirus, they may help to boost our immune systems, thus making it easier to fight off the virus.
Unfortunately no single food group has any magical effect on the immune cells, but eating a varied and balanced diet can support the optimal functioning of our immune system. That’s where superfoods come in.
You’ve probably heard a lot about super foods before, but in case you haven’t already, superfoods are foods that offer maximum nutritional benefits for minimal calories. What more could we ask for, being so good for us, without the extra kilos! They are packed with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. In other words they’re foods that have the most nutritional value.
We’re all looking to improve our immune system performance and stay healthy. Start eating these 10 superfoods today! I’ve also added some links to recipes so that you can get started on your superfood diet quickly and easily.
1. Flourish with Fish
Fish is a great source of zinc, which our bodies are unable to make naturally, so it’s important that we find ways of consuming it. Zinc helps our immune systems by repairing damaged cells, so one should try to include fish on a weekly basis. The best types of fish to eat are the oily ones like salmon and tuna as they’re full of omega 3 fatty acids which help fight heart disease. Try out this tuna tartare recipe for your next fish meal: Spicy tuna tartare
2.Brilliant Berry Boosters
Berries are a great source of vitamin C which is thought to help prevent damage to our cells and also protects the immune system against deficiencies. Try to take a mix of berries rather than just taking one or two, as combining them can often give our bodies the best boost. If you are wondering about sourcing berries in the colder months, don’t worry frozen ones are just as good. Here’s a nice smoothie recipe to help get those berries in: Strawberries and cream breakfast smoothie
3. Immune Conditioning Coconut Oil
Coconut oil contains lauric acid and caprylic acid, which are highly essential to strengthen our immune systems. These powerful acids can easily fight off bacteria and viruses that can cause harmful diseases. You can get your coconut oil from coconut milk as well, like in this wholesome veggie curry recipe: Coconut vegetable curry
4. Super Duper Spinach
Spinach gets top billing as a superfood thanks to its high content of folate, vitamin A, vitamin C, fiber, magnesium and iron. The nutrients in spinach boost immune function and provide the body with necessary nutrients for cell division and DNA repair. My favourite way of eating more spinach is by substituting lettuce for baby spinach leaves. They look just as good and taste even better, with the added benefit of being so healthy.
5. Nice and Nutritional Nuts
Nuts are full of antioxidants and vitamins and are also a great source of the mineral zinc, which really helps the immune system. Another mineral that helps the immune system fight off illness and disease is selenium and one nut in particular that packs a real punch when it comes to selenium is the Brazil nut. Here’s a fun way to get your nuts in …. and have dessert: Pecan and berry yoghurt tart
6. Vitamin B Boosting Broccoli
One cup of broccoli provides as much vitamin C as an orange. This veggie is also high in beta-carotene, potassium, magnesium, zinc, iron and an array of B vitamins. Together, these vitamins and minerals help our immune systems run in top form.Try out this delicious broccoli and tahini recipe and get your broccoli boost: Broccoli and tahini pasta salad
7. Powerful Sweet Potato
Sweet potato is great for our bodies because it is packed full of antioxidants and vitamin A. Vitamin A helps keep the skin healthy and as it is our largest organ and often our first line of defence, having healthy skin can be one way of helping fight off infection to our bodies and to boost our immune systems.
8. Revitalizing Green tea
Antioxidants in tea called polyphenols and flavonoids can help to boost our immune systems. These compounds may also reduce the risk of heart disease. Drinking green tea favorably affects blood lipids, increasing good HDL cholesterol and decreasing LDL, bad cholesterol, triglycerides, and total cholesterol.
9. Exceptional Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
Two or three tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil each day can provide an immune system boost because olive oil has anti-inflammatory properties and is a good source of antioxidants. The best olive oil for us to use is extra-virgin olive oil, which is the first press of the olives with the highest concentration of antioxidants. Drizzle it on salads or over your steamed veggies and use it in recipes instead of saturated fats like butter. Here’s a handy guide to help you buy the best olive oil: everything you ever needed to know about olive oil.
10. Medicative mushrooms
Eat more mushrooms! Mushrooms are high in selenium and B vitamins like riboflavin and niacin. These minerals and vitamins are necessary for the immune system to work in tip top form. Mushrooms are also high in polysaccharides, which are sugar-like molecules that boost immune function. Get your mushrooms on the go with this breakfast recipe: Garlic butter mushrooms and poached egg
These 10 superfoods can’t protect us from illness entirely, but they can help us strengthen our immune systems so that our bodies can fight diseases more easily. However, it is important to remember that what we eat is only a part of maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Please also drink lots of water, exercise regularly and follow the advice of your doctor. Stay safe and stay healthy.