Top 15 foods to boost your immune system, supporting your own natural defences
Here’s how you can boost your immune system naturally, from the ‘kitchen pharmacy’, offering yourself the best our planet can give to strengthen your body’s defences! Don’t forget: most of what the body needs is provided by Mother Earth, hence eating seasonally is being given so much importance. However, during a pandemic, your body will need certain things to stand up to viral or bacterial threats, so, hard times health-wise require double the measures to stay strong. You will most probably know all of these foods anyway, but do you know what nutrients they contain and what they do to your body? Probably not…that’s why we made this programme, so that you can help yourself during the days of the dreaded Coronavirus, which we will beat! Feed yourself strong, cook the right things for your children to stand the best chance (not just during this pandemic, but also to grow up strong enough to withstand seasonal health threats), and if you’re looking after older relatives, then you’ll be able to prop them up too, just by sorting them out with the right meals. Knowledge is power, so have a look at the video, feel inspired and get cooking…
TA-DAH.TV’s SELF-HELP Special: 15 Foods to Strengthen Your Body’s Defence Against Coronavirus
These challenging times have got all of us struggling in our own ways – many of you may know somebody who has unfortunately contracted COVID-19, whilst many people’s mental health may be deteriorating due to fear of contracting it themselves. This is why TA-DAH.TV have listed 15 foods that you can include in your diet to boost your body’s immune system! Acting as the third instalment of their new SELF-HELP series, we hope these foods are of a massive help towards staying safe!
When you think of foods that could boost your immune system, we highly doubt that you’d think of shellfish. However, many types of shellfish are actually stacked with zinc. Although zinc doesn’t get as much focus as other minerals, it is vital to boosting your immune system and our bodies don’t produce zinc themselves! Some types of shellfish which contain high quantities of zinc are; clams, lobster, crab, and mussels. Try to not overdo it with zinc though, as males shouldn’t exceed 11mg a day whilst a female’s daily limit is 8mg.
Sunflower seeds are one of the main ingredients you should be filling your body with when looking to avoid coronavirus – they are full of a plethora of nutrients including magnesium, phosphorous and vitamin B-6. Not only that, but they have high quantities of vitamin E, a powerful antioxidant which is pivotal in sustaining a functioning immune system.
Sweet potato has become quite a fashionable food in recent years – why it wasn’t as great a part in our diet as it is today, we don’t know. Still, we’re grateful for the ‘wonky’ sweet potato, also called yam, as it is a brilliant source of beta-carotene, vitamin C and potassium, but also contains pro-vitamin A, B6, B5 and vitamin E! A proper superfood then!
Apart from being an excellent source of lean protein, oily fish like tuna, mackerel and salmon are secret superstars of shielding you from illness. Rich in omega3-fatty acids, they contain important minerals like iron, zinc, selenium and iodine, whilst also containing vitamins A & D. Vitamin D is a fat-soluble nutrient, which the Eskimos swear by to protect them from falling ill during the winter season, as it’s essential to the health and the function of the body’s immune system.
Blueberries, raspberries and strawberries are like soldiers, fighting your corner. They help fight inflammation, contain a huge amount of vitamin C, manganese, vitamin K1, copper, potassium and iron, whilst packed to the rafters with antioxidants. They also help lower cholesterol too, which is a great side effect, so they are a perfect fruit to have on a daily basis. For such a small fruit, they’re real powerhouses in promoting a healthy body.
As well as green tea, black tea is also full of antioxidants called flavonoids. However, green tea in particular can be of great use to you as it possesses high levels of EGCG – which improves immune function. Because green tea is steamed rather than fermented, the EGCG remains.
Turmeric is a bitter spice that has been used as an anti-inflammatory in treating arthritis and osteoarthritis. As well as this, curcumin can reduce muscle damage caused by exercise, and turmeric contains lots of curcumin!
Vitamin E is essential in boosting your immune system, and almonds boast high quantities of vitamin E! Also containing extremely healthy fats, a half-cup serving of almonds will give you virtually all of your recommended daily intake of vitamin E!
Spinach/Courgette or Zucchini
Not only does spinach contain lots of vitamin C, it is stacked with several antioxidants and beta carotene, which allows our immune systems to fight infections. They also contain vitamin K, iron and calcium. The best way to eat spinach in this case is to cook it as little as possible – this way the spinach will retain its nutrients and proceed to be a great food for your immune system. However, courgettes are great for baking and casseroles, soups and even fritter, so a very versatile ‘green’ to have indeed.
Ginger is another great food to include in your diet if you want to reduce inflammation, nausea and boost your immune system. Yes, ginger is used in countless sweet desserts, but ginger also packs heat in the form of gingerol, which is a relative of capsaicin. Not only that, but ginger possesses properties that lower cholesterol too!
Used in most cuisines all across the world, garlic is essential for your health whilst adding a bit of zing to your meals at the same time. Garlic can be pivotal in fighting off infections, whilst it can also reduce blood pressure by slowing down arteries hardening. Garlic contains large quantities of sulphur and allicin, which is why it is so good at boosting immune systems!
Supercharged with minerals and vitamins, broccoli is one of the best foods to include in your diet during the pandemic. Broccoli is an extremely healthy vegetable as it contains loads of vitamin A, C, and E – and that’s not even including the fibre and antioxidants. Try to cook broccoli as little as possible so that it keeps its power intact.
Red Bell Peppers
A strong source of beta carotene, citrus fruits boast extremely large quantities of vitamin C – more than the majority of all the fruit and vegetables out there! Not only will red bell peppers boost your immune system because of this, but they will also assist you in having healthy skin and eyes.
A daily ration of dark chocolate supports the nervous system, but also has other health benefits: rich in B vitamins, potassium, zinc and iron (hence good for your nerves) are all being put to work to keep your string and healthy. Zinc is needed by the body for immune cell development, whilst it’s an anti-inflammatory as well! As mentioned further up in this article (shellfish), male and female requirements of zinc vary, and it’s important to not overdo it, so balance your meal accordingly.
Last, but most definitely not least, are citrus fruits. Many people use citrus fruits when they are well and it is for good reason – citrus fruits are extremely high in vitamin C and are effective in making your immune system stronger. They also boost the quantity of white blood cells in your body which is pivotal in fighting off COVID-19.
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