You Are, What You Eat!

A strong immune system can change everything. And it starts with your shopping list.

March 21, 2020

A strong immune system can change everything. And it starts with your shopping list.

March 21, 2020

If you want a strong immune system, you have to feed it the nutrients it needs. Most nutritionists agree that the best way to keep the common cold and flu at bay is to make your immune system a top priority. And where better to start than with your next shopping trip? Plan your meals and ensure that you include these eight powerful immune system boosters into your recipes!

1. Citrus Fruits
Vitamin C is like the George Clooney of vitamins. Everyone knows him and everyone loves him. And rightfully so. Any vitamin that helps build up your immune system is loveable indeed. Like any super star, this head-turner also lives with rumors. But they’re good ones. As in, studies suggest that Vitamin C may even increase the production of white blood cells, which are key to fighting infections. And as we all know, some of the best sources for Vitamin C are citrus fruits.

So stock up on oranges, grapefruits, mandarines, lemons and limes!

2. Bell Peppers / Capsicums
Most people think of citrus fruits as the hero when it comes to Vitamin C. Yet ounce for ounce, red bell peppers contain double the vitamin C! They’re also loaded with beta carotene, known to benefit eyes and skin.
Make sure this super food is on your list!

3. Broccoli 
Broccoli is chock-full of vitamins and minerals, making it one of the biggest benefactors for your immune system. Before putting it on your table, consider cooking it as little as possible — or better yet, not at all, to keep all the nutrients in tact.

Follow these simple tips and you’ll get the most out of the A, C, and E vitamins, antioxidants and fiber which the green goddess is packing!

4. Garlic
Our earlier ancestors recognized garlic’s value in fighting infections. And scientists today confirm those early theories, citing the herb’s heavy concentration of sulfur-containing compounds, such as allicin, as the key.

Try spicing up your meals and salads a bit, to keep the flu, and Dracula, at bay.

5. Spinach
Spinach is another super food, thanks to its vitamin C, antioxidants and beta carotene. Though it might not be your favourite thing to eat, it’s ability to increase the infection-fighting ability of our immune systems might make you try out some new recipes. Like broccoli, try to cook your spinach as little as possible, to get the most out of it.

Lightly steaming it will enhance the punch of the vitamin A and allow other nutrients to be released as well.

6. Yogurt
Your best bet when it comes to yogurt is Greek yoghurt. If you can’t find any, look for yogurts with “live and active cultures”, which reportedly stimulate your immune system and help fight diseases. Plain yoghurts trump pre-flavored, sugar-loaded alternatives, but you can sweeten it yourself with fruit or a bit of honey. Also, some brands are fortified with vitamin D, known to help regulate the immune system and increase our body’s natural defence against diseases, so keep an eye out for these and your immune system will thank you!


7. Almonds and sunflower seeds
Both of these tasty seeds are loaded with vitamin E. But what does Vitamin E do? Though it tends to take a backseat to its famous friend C when it comes to fighting off colds, Vitamin E has also proven to be instrumental in the upkeep of the immune system by serving as a powerful anti-oxidant. The only hitch: it’s a fat-soluble vitamin, so for it to be absorbed properly, it needs fat. Almonds and other nuts are not only packed with the vitamin, but also have healthy fats. Just 46 whole, shelled almonds, provides nearly 100 percent of the recommended daily amount of Vitamin E for an adult.

Sunflower seeds are also rich in both Vitamin E and healthy fats, but boast phosphorous, magnesium, and vitamin B-6.

Want to up your Vitamin E intake? In addition to nuts and seeds, you can add avocados and dark leafy greens to your list.

8. Papayas and Kiwi
Make sure you’re sitting for this one. A single papaya has 224 percent of the daily recommended amount of Vitamin C! They’re also good sources of Potassium, B vitamins, and Folate, all of which help you to stay healthy in the cold season.

Like papayas, kiwis are naturally loaded with essential nutrients such as Folate, Potassium, Vitamin K, and Vitamin C, all of which are known to help keep your immune system and body up to par.

In addition to eating well, be sure to stay hydrated, and find the right mix of exercise, mindfulness and sleep. Consider your immune system as a powerful ally who has some very specific demands. Feed those demands and you’ll be sure to get through the cold and flu season like a champ.

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