Are you finding food shopping a little different to what we are used to at the moment? Are immunity boosting foods the stars on your shopping lists to support you and your family as we go through this virus epidemic? Well I’ve got a few suggestions that you can easily pick up at the weekly farmer’s market (they are very much still operating and practising social distancing), greengrocer, local supermarket or include with your home delivery. These foods are seriously gold when it comes to supporting your health and they are economical, practical and easy to source.
High in Vitamin C foods
Including vitamin C foods in your diet may help to reduce the symptoms of respiratory infections and shorten the duration of illnesses like the common cold and viruses. The top vitamin C foods to add for a strong immune system include:
- Lemons and other citrus fruits such as limes and oranges are the perfect and easy go to for adults and children. Squeeze a lemon into to some tepid water and drink it to start your day. Cut up an orange for the kids daily whilst they are at home for their morning snack.
- Broccoli is rich in sulfur-containing substances called glucosinolates, which make sulforaphane, a phytochemical known for its immune-boosting effects. Research tells us that cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, kale, Chinese cabbage, bok choy and Brussels sprouts are excellent choices for our immune system. I know that supply has effected prices of some of these vegetables, but perhaps purchase smaller amounts or buy them frozen. In my essential shop a few days ago, I noticed heaps of frozen Brussels sprouts in the freezer at my local supermarket and not much else. I know that this vegetable is not a favourite for many, but it is jammed packed with goodness. I have a Brussels sprout recipe I make that is a winner here at home. I will look to include it in an upcoming blog for you – many a client has been converted with this recipe!
- Capsicums are such a versatile vegetable and apart from being eaten raw, these can be stuffed, roasted and added to stir-fries. Here in Victoria, capsicums are at their peak from March to November, so be sure to include these into your shopping basket!
FACT: the body cant make vitamin C on its own, you need to take it in through your diet!
The health benefits of ginger are well-documented having been used as a natural remedy for thousands of years due to its medicinal properties. Ginger is a strong antioxidant and antimicrobial (kills bacteria – including salmonella), with the scientific community also recognising it as a natural antibiotic. Include ginger in your stir fries, curries and soups. My favourite is the zing in taste it gives my daily vegetable juice.
A powerful all natural and anti inflammatory ingredient, Curcumin is the active ingredient in turmeric. Adding it to your daily diet may improve and assist healthy immune function which helps ward off nasty bugs and viruses. Curcumin has also been shown to reduce inflammation and prevent oxidative stress to protect against disease. Fresh turmeric can be added to smoothies, vegetable juices, stir fries, curries and soups. I love adding it to my scramble eggs!
Garlic is nature’s antiviral food, presenting a triple threat to colds and viruses with its antimicrobial, antiviral and anti-fungal properties. It is especially potent when consumed raw if your digestion can handle it. Garlic’s immune-boosting properties seem to come from a heavy concentration of sulfur-containing compounds, such as allicin. Make the allicin active through chopping, mincing or chewing it. My biggest tip – add the majority of garlic in your recipe towards the end of your cooking to maintain its healing properties instead of cooking them out.
If you would like to learn more about supporting your immunity health, book your Immunity booster consult with me here.