Want an immunity boost?
Here are the top 10 foods, readily available to us and inexpensive that when consumed will boost your body’s immunity;
Want to protect yourself from coughs, colds, flu, and other unpleasant illnesses? Try adding a couple of cloves of garlic – raw, if possible - to your evening meal. Garlic not only contains powerful toxin-battling antioxidants, it also hosts a naturally-occurring chemical called allicin, which reacts with the blood to create a product capable of killing off harmful bacteria and viruses. Just have the chewing gum on standby…
The Chinese have raved about the health benefits of green tea for centuries, and, hundreds of years later, it turns out they were spot on: the refreshing beverage is abnormally high in antioxidants. “Antioxidants protect the body from over-production of free radicals, which cause damage to proteins, fats, carbohydrates and DNA in the body,” says Dr Elisabeth Weichselbaum, an expert from the British Nutrition Foundation. Pick up a box from your supermarket and reap the benefits.
Not keen on garlic? Try onions– the pungent bulbs contain a powerful natural chemical called quercetin, which can boost the immune system’s defenses against bacterial infections and viruses, reduce inflammation and bloating in the body, ease digestion and detoxify the blood. Add to this the lowering of cholesterol in the blood stream, the safe destruction of food poisoning bacteria E.coli and salmonella, and we’re all wondering why we don’t eat onions more often
Ever wondered why Bugs Bunny never came down with the flu? We suspect his diet of carrots, carrots and more carrots may have had something to do with it. The orange vegetable contains high amounts of beta carotene, which is a powerful plant nutrient that boosts the immune system’s production of infection-fighting white blood cells. To get the most out of your carrots, eat them raw – try shredding a few over a tasty salad, or blend into a smoothie
Aside from the fact that chilli is great for boosting the metabolism, a single pepper also contains a full day’s supply of beta carotene and twice your recommended daily allowance of vitamin C – an essential antioxidant that helps to battle toxins and foreign bodies in the blood stream. So ditch the buckets of orange juice, and opt for adding a spicy low calorie chilli to your meals instead. Not bad for the sinuses either if you’re blocked up with a cold…
Got a sore tummy? Along with peppermint, ginger is one of the best foods you can eat to aid digestion and fight inflammation in the stomach - which can even make for a flatter tummy if it’s consumed as part of a balanced, low-calorie diet. Ginger is also a powerful antioxidant, and can also help to stimulate your circulation, aiding detoxification, and cleanse the colon. Try slicing a small amount into a stir fry or opt for some ginger herbal tea for a great caffeine-free after-dinner drink.
Eating live, foreign bacteria may seem a little strange, but consuming the types of natural organisms found in yogurt can actually do your immune system the world of good. Natural, plain yogurt contains “good bacteria” that is essential for maintaining a healthy digestive system, while some even help fight harmful bacteria like salmonella and even viral infections. Try to include a serving with your breakfast, or as part of a smoothie.
Nutrient-rich leafy greens such as kale, spinach, mustard greens and turnip greens are packed full of beta carotene, vitamins A, C, iron and zinc, and also vitamin E, which can be difficult to find in large quantities in the diet. Why not steam together for a delicious hot salad, or add to soups or stir fries for a bit of variety?
There is no better way to top up our vitamin A and beta carotene levels than snacking on a bowl of sweet potato wedges. Not only are they full to the brim with anti-oxidising nutrients, but they’re also a great source of fibre and slow-release energy, keeping your blood sugar levels at a regular pace, and tackling fatigue head-on. Peel, cut into
One of the best ways to flush toxins out of your system is my drinking water, water and more water. Make sure you drink plenty of water. It’s inexpensive and is your body’s best defense against dehydration. Symptoms of dehydration can include fatigue, headaches, weakness, nausea and even muscle cramps, so it makes sense to keep your fluid levels topped up, especially if you’re feeling under the weather. Try to aim for drinking at least two litres of water a day – more if you exercise.