What are the Top 7 Super Foods to Help Boost Your Immune System?
It has been said that prevention is better than cure and with Autumn settling in, now is the time to make sure that you’re consuming the right foods to help you ward off the common cold or flu.
Here are our top 7 picks to include in your diet to keep healthy this Autumn.
Garlic is a part of the onion family, it is most potent when eaten fresh and raw. Garlic contains a sulphuric compound known as allicin, which has potent anti-oxidant properties as well as a host of other minerals and nutrients.
If raw garlic is too strong for you, try using it to help flavour dishes (in marinades or added just prior to cooking stir-frys).
You can also just cup the tops off a whole clove, wrap it in foil add a little drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and roast for half an hour at 180 degrees. This helps to soften and sweeten its flavour and you can eat it as is, or mash with a fork and use it for cooking.
A herb traditionally used by Native Americans, it is best used on a short term basis only.
It works much like garlic, in that it helps stimulate the immune system and also inhibits bacterial growth.
A few drops in a glass of water is often enough to help ward off colds and flus before the set in. If you don’t like the taste, try mixing it with freshly squeezed juice instead.
Easily available from citrus fruits such as oranges, lemons and lime as well as red capsicum, Vitamin C is an essential nutrient and also works as a powerful anti-oxidant for the body.
Taking Vitamin C supplements in tablet form is a way to help boost the immune system when you start to feel a cold coming along.
Carrots, Pumpkin and Sweet Potato
Orange coloured vegetables (and fruits) are rich in beta-carotene, which is converted by the body into Vitamin A.
While beta-carotene is not an essential nutrient, Vitamin A is, and it is a powerful anti-oxidant. Vitamin A is essential for healthy skin, bones and teeth. It is also vital for healthy eyes.
Roasting carrots, pumpkin and sweet potato (tossed in a combination of extra virgin olive oil and fresh herbs such as rosemary, with a pinch of cracked pepper and salt) is an easy and delicious way to help incorporate them into your diet.
Cut all vegetables to a similar size and roast in 180 degrees for half an hour or until tender. Serve with some steamed green vegetables.
Fish such as salmon, tuna and mackerel are high in omega-3 fatty acids. These “good fats” help to lower triglycerides (blood fat levels) and blood pressure, as well as play an important role in reducing inflammation in our bodies.
Omega-3 fatty acids can help to reduce colds and fight the flu by increasing phagocyte activity (helps to protect against bacteria).
Fish derived omega-3 also contains selenium and Vitamin D, which can help protect us from viruses.
Try baking skin free salmon wrapped in foil, with slightly blanched green beans, topped with homemade pesto for 12 minutes at 180 degrees. Serve with a side salad.
Substituting tea instead of that cup of coffee can help you boost your immune system as tea is a potent anti-oxidant and will help your body to produce 10 times more interferon, a protein that battles cold and flu infections.
There are many types of tea – herbal teas often smell delicious, but purists consider either green tea, black tea, white tea, oolong tea or pu-erh tea to be the real deal.
Drinking your tea with no sugar or milk will help you to avoid the extra calories!
Although not technically a “food”, it’s incredibly important to keep hydrated – especially if you’re working in an air-conditioned office.
Try to drink at least 2 litres of filtered water per day. Water also helps our lymphatic system to rid the body of toxins which is why we advise all our clients to drink several glasses of water following a treatment.
Drinking adequate amounts of water is crucial for optimal body function and remember…. just because it’s not hot, it doesn’t mean that your body can’t dehydrate.
Article by Melanie Yeoh, Sydney Remedial Massage.