Our immune system is a wonderful gift we were all given, it can defend us against a myriad of threats, including bacteria and viruses. There are many foods we can focus on eating to support our immune system to function optimally. These include:
- Citrus Fruit
Vitamin C rich citrus fruits assists in the production of white blood cells. Since your body cannot store or produce vitamin C, you need a daily dose of fresh vitamin C rich citrus fruits.
Seasonal options available at the moment:
Lemons & Limes – are packed with antioxidants and cancer fighting compounds such hesperidin and d-limonene
- Bell Peppers
It may surprise you that red bell peppers have double the amount of vitamin C than citrus fruits when compared by weight. They’re also a rich source of beta carotene. Besides boosting your immune system, vitamin C may help maintain healthy skin. Beta carotene helps keep your eyes and skin healthy.
Broccoli is supercharged with vitamins A, C, E and minerals. They are also high in fibre. Best eaten raw or steamed.
Glutathione, found in broccoli, specifically helps increase the body’s ability to fight off illness and infection. By boosting your levels of glutathione, you are preparing your body to deal with infection before it has the chance to take hold and become an issue.
Garlic contains compounds that help the immune system fight germs.
Whole garlic contains a compound called alliin. When garlic is crushed or chewed, this compound turns into allicin (with a c), the main active ingredient in garlic.
Allicin quickly converts to other sulphur-containing compounds thought to give garlic its medicinal properties.
These compounds have been shown to boost the disease-fighting response of some types of white blood cells in the body when they encounter viruses, such as the viruses that cause the common cold or flu.
Ginger may help decrease inflammation, which can help reduce a sore throat and other inflammatory illnesses. Ginger may also address nausea.
While it’s used in many sweet desserts, ginger packs some heat in the form of gingerol, a relative of capsaicin, and in turn may help decrease chronic pain. Ginger also possess cholesterol-lowering properties.
You may know turmeric as a key ingredient in many curries. But this bright yellow, bitter spice has also been used for years as an anti-inflammatory in treating both osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Turmeric has high concentrations of curcumin, which gives turmeric its distinctive colour, this can help decrease exercise-induced muscle damage.
Article by Lizette Grobler
20 ml freshly squeezed lemon juice
3 cm fresh ginger piece, grated
5 ml raw honey
200 ml boiled water, slightly cooled
Optional: add grated turmeric to support liver health!
-Mix all of the above ingredients in a cup, let stand for 3 minutes to infuse.
1-2 small peeled garlic cloves, or cut a big one smaller for easy swallowing! Remember to crush them a bit before you swallow to activate the Allicin.
-Swallow the garlic cloves with the above ginger toddy, 1-2 times per day to boost your immunity and combat colds and flu.
Recipe by Marelie Winterbach