What specific foods can you be adding to support a strong and healthy immune system?
Maintaining a healthy diet is vital right now. It’s important that we add specific nutrients and minerals into our meals that support a strong immune system!
Check out my recent IMMUNITY SERIES of 8 short videos here or keep reading below:
1. Antioxidants are substances found in foods (and in the body) that protect our cells from ‘free radical’ damage. Increasing our antioxidant intake can reduce overabundance of inflammation in your body and thereby our immune system.
Food sources include: Blueberries, raspberries, walnuts, avocado, almonds, tomatoes, garlic, pecans, cacao, coffee, artichoke.
Diet dip: Blueberry or raspberry smoothie with added almonds or walnuts. Try my Immunity Breakie Smoothie.
2. Vitamin C is a water-soluble nutrient and powerful antioxidant. It supports immune function by protecting our cells and fighting infections and can’t be produced by the body.
Food sources include: Citrus fruits (orange, lemon, limes, grapefruit), berries (raspberries, blueberries, strawberries), kiwi fruit, capsicum, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, kale, spinach.
Diet dip: Add citrus fruit juice to your salad dressings, add berries to a yoghurt bowl or smoothie.
3 & 4. Vitamin E and Vitamin A are both fat-soluble nutrients and powerful sources of antioxidants. They play a role in supporting out immunity as well as our vision and skin.
Vitamin E Food sources: Almonds, sunflower seeds, hazelnuts, spinach, broccoli, olive oil
Diet tip: Try a non fruit based granola, such as my Healthy Hormone Granola.
Vitamin A Food sources: Carrot, pumpkin, sweet potato, oily fish, egg yolks, pate and dairy.
Diet tip: Pumpkin and carrot soup, roasted sweet potato added to your salad
5. Zinc is a key immune supportive mineral and required for more than 300 functions in our body.
Food sources include: Pumpkin Seeds, oysters/crab/salmon, beef, chicken, chickpeas, cashews, cacao, shitake mushrooms, tahini, quinoa.
Diet tip: Sprinkle some pumpkin seeds and cashews on your salad, add cacao powder to a smoothie or try mushies on toast with a tahini dressing.
Photo: Mushrooms on gluten free toast with smashed avo and tahini - a yummy break packed with sources of zinc.
6. Anti-inflammatory foods can reduce the level of inflammation in the body. Inflammation is useful for fighting infection and preventing injury, however chronic inflammation results in stress, weight gain and higher risk developing disease.
Anti-inflammatory foods include: Turmeric, ginger, pumpkin, salmon, olive oil, tomatoes, avocado, berries, pineapple, leafy greens, chia seeds and flaxseeds
Diet tip: Roast pumpkin in olive oil and cinnamon and add to your dinner as a yummy side dish, make a soy, ginger, garlic dressing and drizzle on your salmon, toss some turmeric on your grilled chicken.
It is believed that 70% of your immune system is located in your gut! So let’s focus on how we can support our gut health.
7. Probiotics are live bacteria found in your gut. There are many different species, with the most common ones, Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium.
Probiotic food sources: Yoghurt, kefir, bone broth, apple cider vinegar, kombucha, kimchi, miso, sauerkraut. They are also commonly consumed in supplement form – talk to your health practitioner about which probiotic is best for you!
Diet tip: Try adding apple cider vinegar to a salad dressing or halving ½ cup per day of yoghurt per day as a snack.
8. Prebiotics are dietary fibres that feed your gut bacteria and support the growth of good gut bacteria (probiotics).
Prebiotic Food sources: Banana, asparagus, oats, cooked and cooled white rice, potato and sweet potato, garlic, leek, onion.
Diet tip: Roast/boil potato and sweet potato, let it cool then to add it to your meal as a side. The process of letting it cool turns it into a resistant starch/ prebiotic!
If you're looking for personalised assistance with incorporating some of these foods into your diet or support your immunity, head over to my bookings page or email me for more details how we can work together.
Stay safe, stay healthy.