Do you ever feel like you’re catching one illness after another? A cold, the flu, a stomach bug. Once you’re hit with one of them it seems like you continue to catch everything going around and if you have kids you’ll probably end up catching their bugs too! While there’s no sure fire way to stop this there are certainly things that you can do to help. Boosting your immunity is a great way to start.
We all know that diet plays a big part in our health and wellbeing and there are some great immune boosting foods out there. By simply adding some of these to your diet (and maintaining a healthy, balanced diet) you are giving yourself a fighting chance at avoiding whatever is going around next.
The best part is that these foods are all delicious too! If you struggle to get all of these foods into your diet, taking a high quality multivitamin can help with any deficiencies.
Foods that will boost your immunity:
If in doubt, add garlic! Garlic has so many health and nutrition benefits that if you’re not adding it to almost all of your cooking you should be. It is full of immune boosting vitamins (too many to list) and is also linked to cardiovascular health. Garlic has the added benefit of making everything taste great too.
Ginger is an antioxidant that has long been known for its immune fighting powers. Similar to garlic, ginger is easily added to lots of cooked foods. It’s also great grated and added to hot tea. One of my favourite ways to enjoy ginger is in a fresh juice like this one.
Never dismiss the humble orange. These citrus fruits are jam packed with vitamins and minerals (especially the good old vitamin C that we love when it comes to avoiding colds) and are a great base to a healthy freshly squeezed juice. They are in abundance in winter so stock up and get juicing!
The antioxidant properties of berries make them an excellent immune boosting food. Try to have at least a handful a day. They are great added to yoghurt, placed in a smoothie or eaten on their own as a healthy snack. Fresh is best, but frozen works well too if that’s all that you have available.
It often surprises people that mushrooms are on this list but mushrooms are certainly one of the superfoods and are perfect for improving your immune system. Mushrooms are actually a fungus, not a vegetable (an easy mistake many people make) and have long been known for their medicinal benefits. Mushrooms contain selenium which has antioxidant properties, as well as being a good source of protein, iron and vitamin C. With so many varieties available you’ll never get bored of eating them.
A handful of cashews is beneficial for your health in so many ways. As with all nuts, they are ‘good fats’ and packed with minerals. Cashews stand out because of their high zinc and copper content which are renowned for their immune boosting properties. Eat them raw or cook them in curries (we love this one) and casseroles.
Another food that often gets left off these lists is the humble chickpea. Chickpeas are also high in zinc and copper, and are full of too many other health benefits to mention. A simple way to get chickpeas into your diet is to make your own hummus. There are so many recipes out there and if you team it up with some carrot or cucumber you’ve got yourself a healthy snack.
If you’re trying to improve your immunity, remember that a healthy balanced diet is a great place to start. You don’t need to eat all of the foods mentioned above, but try your best to add a few to your diet and hopefully you can fight off the next cold or flu coming your way.
It also helps to take a good quality vitamin C + zinc supplement to strengthen your immunity and protect against colds and flu.