When I’m a little stressed and run down, my immune system gets 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 70% of your immune system is in your gut and what you eat 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. Nutritional deficiencies can impair immune function, increasing both the risk and severity of the infection.
Vitamin C, for example, acts like your personal bodyguard, helping to protect cells and assist in healing.
There are also studies of the use of vitamin C in the treatment and prevention of the common cold reveals a shorter duration of symptoms and faster recovery. It’s pretty much destroyed in cooking, so you need to consume it fresh. Vitamin D deficiency can suppress immune function too. US studies indicate that vitamin D may also help immune cells identify and destroy bacteria and viruses.
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 12 Immune-supporting Foods:
Curcumin is the active ingredient in turmeric, responsible for the distinct yellow colouring and the impressive list of health properties. Curcumin is anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, 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.
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. Vitamin C is a potent antioxidant utilised throughout the body. It is involved in tissue growth and repair, adrenal gland function, immune system support, iron absorption and stomach acid activation. Increased vitamin C requirements are observed in periods of stress for immune system support.
Carrots contain vitamin A precursors called carotenoids (Beta carotene) that help promote vision and support a healthy immune system.
Carrots are also rich in vitamins B complex for energy metabolic, C, D, E, K, fibre, potassium, iron, manganese, copper, iodine, silica, sulphur, chromium.
Garlic is also an immune system warrior, protecting the body from infections and illness. Garlic 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.
To have a strong immune system your body needs a daily supply of quality protein. Research studies have shown that deficiency of high-quality protein can result in depletion of immune cells, the inability of the body to make antibodies, and other immune-related problems.
In a nutshell protein helps repair the body, assists in recovery from illness and sports injuries, pevents muscle wastage, keeps blood sugars stable, supports weight loss and healthy metabolism.
Choose nutrient-rich proteins with a complete amino acid profile.
Rich in super immune-enhancing compounds and natural plant-based vitamin D that helps boost immune function and bone health.
Rich in vitamin C and polyphenols that help promote healthy tissues and organs.
Matcha is the most nutrient-rich green tea in the world. The best matcha needs to be organic and ceremonial grade which is more potent in antioxidants. The antioxidants in matcha are beneficial in strengthening the immune system; green tea keeps the immune system running normally. Healthy immune systems are better at handling infections from bacteria and viruses.
Drinking matcha can also make you feel relaxed, calm and happy due to the high levels of L-theanine.
This is great for those with elevated adrenal levels who are prone to illness and becoming run down.
Probiotics are live microorganisms (good bacteria) that reside in the gut. Probiotics support our immune system, aid digestion and assist with nutrient absorption into our bloodstream. Take probiotics and/or eat fermented foods. Fermented foods are naturally packed with probiotics that promote healthy gut bacteria. Examples include kefir, kombucha tea, yoghurt, miso, sauerkraut, kimchi and fermented vegetables.
2 Whole Oranges
1 Whole lime
1/2 Whole lemon
1 large handful of baby spinach leaves
1 1/2 - 2 cups of water
1 teaspoon Immune Support
1/2 teaspoon Organic Matcha Green Tea
1 tablespoon Healthy Chef protein
Peel oranges, lime and lemon.
Combine in a high-performance blender with baby spinach, Immune Support and water.
Blend for a few seconds until smooth.
Enjoy and allow your body to be nourished.
Pineapple – High vitamin C - Contains Bromelain that aids digestion and has anti-inflammatory properties.
Manuka Honey – Antibacterial to help fight virus and bacteria.
Ginger – Anti-inflammatory + helps promote gastric motility.
Turmeric – Natural antiviral
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