10 Foods to Help Eat for Immunity (and quell those grocery shopping woes)
With white carbs hard to come by – and lots of anxiety about stocking the shelves, and what to stock them with – these 10 foods will help you stay healthy, feel great and keep your immune system strong!
Whatever your views on the COVID-19 virus and pandemic itself, it’s hard to deny that these are crazy times. Whether you are in self-isolation like CWRB Chief Chick Jordana, or whether you have been to the supermarket only to find all of your favourite staples sold out, everyone knows something is going on.
Many of you, from all around the world, have been asking us how to approach health, wellness and activity during these very challenging times. As part of our community, we’re doing our best to respond and help which is why Resident CWRB Nutrition Guru Tara Leanne is taking us through her hit list of staples as part of this blog!
For those of you keen to hear more about her, Tara has a Bachelor of Health Science in Nutritional medicine and is an Accredited Functional Nutritionist who is passionate about ‘keeping it real’ when it comes to eating for health.
“The key to eating for immunity is to eat a WIDE variety of whole food. And when I say ‘whole food’, I mean eating food that is grown and from nature… and not from a packet.”Tara Leanne
When I’m shopping, I personally make sure I have berries and oily fish, eggs, tomatoes and sweet potato, olive oil, avocado, kale and brown rice!
These are Tara’s top 10 foods to help you eat for immunity (and quell those grocery shopping woes at the same time:
1 Citrus fruits
The vitamin C in citrus fruits like oranges, grapefuits, lemons and limes will help increase the production of white blood cells, which are key to fighting infection. So why not add some critus to your morning smoothie, or try a little bit cut up into a salad or meal?
Also a rich source of Vitamins A and C (in fact, a cup of chopped capsicum has more Vit C than an orange). Capsicums are available in tons colours, and are incredibly versatile! They can can be stuffed, roasted, used in stir-fries or simply eaten raw.
These veges are supercharged with vitamins and minerals. Full of antioxidants and fibre… make sure you keep it’s value high by cooking it only a little, if at all.
Garlic is one of the basics in immune-boosting properties. A little point though is to add it to your cooking at the end…not the beginning to get the most benefit!
Ginger helps to decrease inflammation, which can help reduce a sore throat. It can also help with nausea. Ginger is incredible in that it also contributes to decreasing chronic pain, so chop some up for your meals, or finely grate it and add it to smoothies and juices!
There's a lot of different yoghurts out there, so just be aware that 'live and active cultures' is the key here. Greek yoghurt is a great example; these cultures stimulate your immune system to help fight disease, so slap some on your morning muesli or even add some to your smoothie! Yoghurt also goes great on its own, or with a little bit of flavour from honey, berries or banana.
Full of my favourite nutrient, Vitamin E, this fat soluble superhero is key to a healthy immune system, epithelial health and healing. It needs fat to be absorbed which almonds are full of, making this a great ‘bang for your buck’ food! Snack on a handful on their own, chop some up into your salad or throw in the blender for a nutty addition to your smoothie.
Many of you may already know the benefits of turmeric in inflammation. Turmeric - and especially its most active compound curcumin - have many scientifically-proven health benefits, such as the potential to prevent heart disease, Alzheimer's and cancer. It's a potent anti-inflammatory and antioxidant and may also help improve symptoms of depression and arthritis. Since our bodies become inflamed from illness, adding turmeric is never a bad idea!
9 Green Tea
Both green and black teas are full of flavonoids, but these antioxidants are super strong in green tea and are called Epigallocatechin Gallate (EGCG). EGCG has been shown to enhance immune function and aids in the production of germ-fighting compounds in your T-cells (a lymphocyte, which develops in the thymus gland (hence the 'T' in the name) and plays a central role in the immune response.
I know this sounds like basic information, but more and more of the people I see, don’t drink enough water to satisfy body function on a daily basis. Fill your body with water (throw in a little lemon or lime) and really take not of the health benefits!