Natural Ways to Boost Your Immune System With Healthy Foods
Support your immunity to fight the common cold with these nutrient-rich ingredients
The common cold season in the UK is well and truly underway, so now is the perfect time to focus on giving your immune system a boost.
Nutrients are what our immune system uses, and food equals nutrients, so there’s no better way to boost your body’s defences than through nutrient-rich foods! As part of our monthly Know Your Nutrients series with Nutracheck, we look at some ideal ingredients to include in your diet that will give your immune system plenty of support.
Sweet potato and carrots for vitamin A
These orange-coloured foods are a great source of beta-carotene, which our body converts into vitamin A.
Vitamin A is an antioxidant with an important role to play in keeping our immune system strong. Why not make sweet potato, carrot and chilli soup to warm you up on these cooler days, while giving your immunity a boost? It’s a win-win!
Red peppers for vitamin C
We’re all probably very familiar with the fact that vitamin C is good for our immune system; common advice being to eat oranges for a good dose. But there are other great sources of vitamin C, too.
In fact, red peppers and broccoli both contain more vitamin C per 100g than oranges, so these are great foods to get into your diet.
Vitamin C is used by our body to protect our cells and keep them healthy. Some research also suggests that vitamin C may help protect us against catching colds during periods of stress.
Why not stir-fry some peppers, broccoli and garlic (also an immune booster) for a healthy, warming immunity boost!
Eggs and mushrooms for vitamin D
We often associate vitamin D with bone health – but it’s also thought to play a role in immunity. If you’re vegetarian, then stock up on eggs, as the yolk is one of the few good dietary sources of vitamin D. For vegans, a plant-based source would be mushrooms, which can make vitamin D when exposed to sunlight, just like we can! So why not crack some eggs and make yourself a mushroom omelette for a double dose!
Being deficient in vitamin D may increase our susceptibility to infection, and during the winter months we can’t make vitamin D from sunlight. This is why dietary sources are important – but also why we should consider taking a supplement from October to March.
Quinoa for zinc
This grain was certainly the ‘food of the moment’ a few years back – and for good reason! Quinoa is super nutritious, full of protein and fibre, and is packed with immune-boosting nutrients such as riboflavin (vit B2), niacin (vit B3) and zinc.
Zinc plays an important role in immunity and cell regeneration. Ensuring you get enough in your diet can help you fight off infections like the common cold and help to keep cells healthy.
Why not serve yourself up a bowl of quinoa and roasted vegetables for a dose of zinc and vitamin C for the ultimate immune boost!
For more great advice, and to track your calories and nutrients, visit: nutracheck.co.uk/appstore