INGREDIENTS TO BOOST YOUR IMMUNE SYSTEM
Let’s just be clear right off the bat – nothing you eat or drink will prevent you getting coronavirus, so don’t fill up on all of the foods below and think you’ll be fine. However, there are certain ingredients that can help boost your immune system so that your body is better prepared to fight off infections. These seven ingredients and the best ways to eat them have been recommended by Egle Dackauskaite, one of the leading nutritionists at John Bell & Croyden, pharmacists to Her Majesty The Queen, so get them on your shopping list.
Kiwis and lemons
Kiwis and lemons are a good source of vitamin C. Vitamin C increases the production of infection-fighting white blood cells and antibodies, and increases levels of interferon, the protein that coats cell surfaces, preventing the entry of viruses. It’s best to eat vitamin C-rich foods minimally cooked or raw, like kiwis and lemon juice blended into a smoothie.
Turmeric has a balancing effect on the immune system. It stimulates the production of cells that fight diseases and cancers, while inhibiting the production of pro-inflammatory compounds. Whisk either grated or ground turmeric into a latte with coconut milk, ginger and nutmeg.
Garlic and ginger
Garlic helps kill bacteria and viruses. It’s an antioxidant and it stimulates the multiplication of infection-fighting white cells and increases the efficiency of antibody production. Ginger is also a strong antioxidant and is anti-inflammatory, and it helps to reduce congestion in the sinuses and has been show to inhibit the growth of certain kinds of cancer cells. Garlic and ginger are best fresh so crush or grate them both into a mixture of apple cider vinegar, lemon juice and cayenne pepper and knock it back.
Berries, especially the dark-coloured ones, are very rich in antioxidants called anthocyanidins, which help support the immune system. Berries are also a great source of vitamin C and zinc. Eat them fresh when they’re in season or use frozen berry mix for convenience. Put them on top of overnight oats for double whammy as oats have strong antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects. They contain a powerful soluble fiber called beta-glucan which stimulate the immune system.
Sweet potatoes are incredibly rich in beta-carotene, the antioxidant responsible for the vegetable’s bright orange colour. Beta-carotene helps to increases the number of infection-fighting cells, natural killer cells, and helper T-cells, as well as being a powerful antioxidant that mops up excess free radicals that accelerate ageing. Slice the sweet potatoes into wedges, toss with olive oil, fenugreek seeds, salt & pepper and roast.