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Julie Tucker
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Immune system-boosting superfoods to see you through the winter

We are what we eat, or so the saying goes, and it goes without saying that what we eat has far-reaching consequences for our health and natural immunity.

The plethora of products and supplements which promise the earth, in terms of their health and wellbeing benefits, are all well and good, but its just as easy, and possibly more cost effective, to just eat a nutritious and balanced diet consisting primarily of the following key superfoods.

Nature’s kitchen

When it comes to the most obvious of healthy food choices, fruit and vegetables, but not necessarily herbs and spices, are at the top of the list. For an easy win, eat the rainbow, with different coloured fruits, vegetables, herbs and spices representing different micronutrients, all of which serve to keep our immune system in tip-top, battle ready shape.

Think not of herbs and spices as mere flavouring, long used for medicinal purposes, they are packed full of goodness and should be used liberally in all your meals, including salads and smoothies.

The power of 3

If we were to recommend just three key ingredients to up our intake of, then the Holy Trinity has to be garlic, ginger and turmeric. Each has its own manifold health benefits but together they are a nutritional force to be reckoned with and the perfect combination for a strong immune system.

To really kickstart your day we recommend a Holy Trinity shot comprised of a thumb-sized piece of fresh, peeled ginger and turmeric, one peeled garlic clove, the juice of half a lemon, a pinch of black pepper and just a dash of honey. Add a few tablespoons of water to thin it out, blitz in a blender then knock it back for a turbo-powered breakfast boost. Of course, the mere thought might turn your stomach, in which case feel free just to incorporate more of these particular superfoods into your cooking, along with as many as possible of the following;

Citrus fruits
Red bell peppers
Broccoli
Garlic
Ginger
Spinach
Yoghurt
Almonds
Sunflower seeds
Turmeric
Green tea
Papaya
Kiwi
Poultry
Shellfish

The necessity of fibre

Our gut health depends on fibre, the indigestible part of plants. A colony of bacteria, known as our gut microbiome, resides in our gut. They break down fibre for us and use the leftover materials to form chemicals and hormones that feed into a healthy immune system. The greater our quantities of fibre the happier our immune system will be. Think wholegrains, fruits and veggies with their skins on, seeds, nuts, whole bran and other fibre-rich foods. Your gut will thank you for it and so will your immune system.

Smoothielicious

An easy way of consuming a whole bunch of these superfoods is to stick them in a smoothie, which will jam-pack your body with antioxidants, vitamins and nutrients to really get your immune system into gear. Smoothies are easy to make, satisfyingly filling, and provide myriad health benefits.

For a quick and easy DIY smoothie choose two or three of the immune boosters listed below, plus protein sources if required, and one milk option.

Smoothie Bar Ingredients

 

Alternatively, why not try one of these delicious recipes!

 

Breakfast Smoothie Recipe

Breakfast Smoothie Recipe

Supporting immunity has never been so important, and positive lifestyle habits together with good nutrition can actually help strengthen the immune system and make us feel better equipped to face life’s challenges, goodness knows there are enough of them at the moment, but with the proper goodness inside us. we have a better chance of being match-fit and ready for anything.

 

 

Images & recipes courtesy of MOB Group & Press Association

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