Autumn is very much already here which can mean only one thing when it comes to health; boosting your immune system in a bid to guard against the inevitable cold and flu season.
Aside from taking up washing your hands at every opportunity and spritzing sanitizer like a crazed germaphobe, (we currently love Jurlique’s £12.50 SpaceNK.co.uk) but even that’s not 100% foolproof when it comes to the onslaught of germs you encounter every day whether on public transport, at home or in the office.
Staying healthy is much more about what’s on the inside. Eating healthy ensures you stay healthy. You can keep your body and immunity running smoothly by rounding out your plate with plenty of colorful servings of fruits and vegetables, plus 8 to 10 glasses of water a day, at the very least. However, to help add an extra flu-fighting punch to your meal plan, add these fantastic immune boosters to your diet.
Found in a number of fruits and vegetables including green, yellow and red peppers, sweet potatoes, cauliflower, kale, mangoes, melons, oranges, strawberries, tomatoes, broccoli, berries and Brussels sprouts, these foods can easily be incorporated into your diet, and many of them are probably already foods you eat frequently.
To up the ante, combine them in a fresh fruit smoothie or vegetable juice for a healthy and delicious snack between meals. For the Vitamin C rich vegetables listed, such as broccoli, peppers or Brussels sprouts, they can be added as a nice side to a meal. It is best to eat these Vitamin C rich foods steamed or raw to ensure that you reap the nutritional benefits and antioxidant properties.
Vitamin E is found in nuts, asparagus, avocado, eggs, milk, leafy green vegetables, vegetable oils, wheat germ, sunflower seeds, spinach, broccoli, carrots, red peppers as well as pumpkin. These nuts, seeds and vegetables taste delicious when roasted in the oven and are common ingredients in many meals. Spice up the usual by trying new recipes with these Vitamin E rich foods. They are worth the effort, helping to prevent cell damage from free radicals, and allow your cells to efficiently communicate and protect against disease.
Caroteinoids contain beta-carotene, which provide a source of Vitamin A and enhance the functionality of the immune system. Caroteinoids are found in sweet potatoes, watermelon, corn, turnips, collards, squash, broccoli, apricots, beets, peaches, and asparagus. These fruits and vegetables are antioxidant giants that help repair cells from free radicals. Although some of these foods are out of season in the winter, sweet potatoes, corn and asparagus are easy year-round vegetables that can be served in a variety of ways.
Selenium & Zinc
Selenium is found in tuna, beef, grains, Brazil nuts and poultry, and zinc in dairy products, nuts, seafood, red meats, oysters, beans and whole grains. The amino acids in these protein-rich foods are the building blocks of many cells in our bodies. Furthermore, the fiber found in grains aids the liver in ridding the body of toxins, which in turn can strengthen the immune system. Zinc enhances the function of T cells, which are vital in identifying antigens and notifying other immune cells of the invaders that can make us sick.