Got the winter sniffles? Feeling a bit run down? Our Health and Wellness bloggers, Kat and Ash from Body Fusion are back to offer some advice on how to boost your immunity this winter.
Food for Immunity
Sniffle season is well and truly here! Nutrition plays a crucial role in building a healthy immune system to give you the best chance to fight off nasty bugs and that dreaded winter cold & flu. Here’s our top scientifically proven immune boosting foods:
Eat fermented vegetables & dairy foods
Fermented vegetables & dairy products contain living bacteria that boost immune health. How? Well did you know roughly 70% of your body’s immunity comes from your gut? Building a healthy army of bacteria in your intestine will help you fight off bugs more strongly.
We suggest always going for food first before considering supplements. Eat more natural or greek yoghurt, fermented milk drinks (such as Yakult and Kefir), kimchi and sauerkraut, tempeh & miso. If you’ve never heard of kimchi or sauerkraut before they are both made from fermented cabbage, one is traditionally Korean whilst the latter originates from central Europe.
How to eat them:
- Natural or greek yoghurt with oats for breakfast or as a snack.
- Add fermented milk drinks (such as Yakult and Kefir) to smoothies.
- Use tempeh as protein in stir-fries and start meals with a bowl of miso
- Top salads or fried rice with kimchi
- Serve sauerkraut with roast meat & vegetables or with scrambled eggs.
Looking for them in Lane Cove?
- Go Vita has a selection of kim chi
- About Life has a wide variety of tempeh, saurekruat, kimchi & kefir
- All supermarkets stock natural and greek yoghurt
- Lime Leaf Fruit Market sell sauerkraut in large glass jars
- Mori Mart has numerous types of miso paste & soups
Garlic has been used for centuries as an immune booster in numerous cultures. We have a client who eats a clove of raw garlic everyday and he swears he never gets sick! There is some science behind his ritual because garlic’s sulphuric compounds have been seen to reduce bacteria and infection.
It is important to know that garlic tablets or supplements will not offer the same effects of the sulphuric compounds in fresh garlic. It is believed that these benefits are highest in raw garlic, as heating can reduce its antibiotic effects.
If you can manage to slip some raw garlic into your day then that seems to have the biggest immune benefit.
- Try a warm tea with a little crushed garlic, lemon & honey,
- Rub some fresh garlic & olive oil onto your toast
- If that isn’t for you try adding it in curries, casseroles, stir fries or roast vegetables.
Eat at least 5 different coloured vegetables & fruit
The rich variety of micronutrients in fruit and vegetables is what your immune system needs to keep it running in premium condition, think of them like good quality petrol. Some of the stars include Vitamin C, vitamin A, folate and selenium.
There are over 400 pigments in fresh fruit and vegetables, each of them offer different health benefits and are present with unique chemical structures that cannot be replicated in a tablet form. Mother Nature was a talented lady! It is a myth that you need supplements to meet your micronutrient requirements; take a look below:
- 1 kiwifruit (70g) = 107% Vitamin C RDI
- 1 carrot (50g) = 157% Vitamin A RDI
Fruit and veggies are also low in energy (kilojoules/calories) so they really help in maintaining a healthy weight – another big part of staying healthy.
MYTH BUST: Vitamin C won’t prevent a cold! Research has shown that additional Vitamin C supplementation can reduce the duration and severity of symptoms. So if you are already sick, try eating red, orange, dark green vegetables and dark purple fruits and vegetables. Some of our favourites include purple cabbage, pumpkin and silverbeet.
- Eat two kiwifruit and two mandarins per day – they are both in season now and high in vitamin C.
- Make a big batch of vegetable soup to start meals or eat for lunch with a crusty wholegrain roll & spread of hummus.
- Choose three different coloured vegetables to serve at dinner. Stir fries are a great way to eat the rainbow!
There is a lot a fantastic diet can do to improve your immunity, to read more check out our Body Fusion blog for even more immune boosting foods. For all of your evidence based nutrition info to power you through winter at Body Fusion, give us a call or send an email, we’d love to meet you!
Stay warm, eat well & keep moving.
Katrina & Ashleigh from Body Fusion
Address: 221 Longueville Rd Lane Cove, New South Wales, Australia
Phone: 0410 533 213
Web: Body Fusion
Facebook: Body Fusion
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