In these times of immune vigilance due to the Coronavirus, we wanted to talk a little bit about the immune system and natural immune boosters. It seems crucial during this time to emphasise the importance of taking a step back and remembering the basics of what makes us well – like consuming the full spectrum of colourful wholefoods, regular physical activity, relaxation and good quality sleep.
In times of panic, a lot of people forget about these simple basics and measures and how powerful they can be. They help to strengthen our immune systems, which in turn helps to fight off and subdue pathogens, infections, diseases, free radicals, and diseased cells.
We are all immunologically unique, and if we weren’t, we would have all died off a long while ago! Your immune system is amazing, it fights illness and infection, and it heals and repairs you.
It is greatly affected by everything you are exposed to during your life, including the foods you eat, your living environments, quality of sleep, medications, and your gut microbiome (your gut is directly linked to your immune system so we need to take proper care of it!)
Prebiotics like onions, raw garlic and cabbage, and probiotics like kimchi, pickled vegetables and yoghurt add beneficial bacteria and help to balance your gut.
Nature has created some powerful foods and spices that can help support you. So instead of just stocking up on toilet paper or masks next time you shop online, stock up on "made for you nutrition", with wholesome meal delivery.
Yes, practice good hygiene (wash your hands, cover your face) but also remember the basics of keeping yourself healthy, because basically you improve your chances of survival if you are healthier.
Healthy eats you can add to your diet now for an extra immune system boost:
- Lots of fresh greens – think kale, spinach, silver beat, bok choy, broccoli, green beans, peas
- Vitamin C rich foods or supplements (a vital antioxidant and crucial for the immune system) – vitamin C is abundant in lots of fruits and veggies, lemon, lime, cranberries, kale
- Beta glucans from mushrooms or yeast
- Eat and cook with antimicrobial herbs, for example sprinkle these herbs on virtually everything – chicken, turkey, vegetarian dishes etc.
*use fresh versions for higher potency, although dried is an option too
- Lots of garlic – chop up and sauté with any dish (or use garlic infused oil if you are on a low FODMAP plan)
- Ginger is a warming herb with anti-inflammatory properties – add to smoothies, to porridge, crush up fresh ginger in hot water with lemon
- Also remember: minimally processed foods and minimal sugar and refined carbs will also help to reduce the burden on your system.
We used loads of garlic and ginger and chilli in our soy poached chicken. We used rosemary and lemon and basil in our Poached chicken with pesto and roast potatoes. We loaded up our beef with chimichurri (oregano, basil, chilli, and lemon). And every meal we cooked we tried to maximise the nutrition and purity for you.
Other small things you can do to stay proactive and healthy is sticking to the basics – eat sufficient nutrient dense calories, a variety of colourful foods, staying hydrated, enjoy deep sleep, lots of sunshine and stress management (music, pets, and even romantic comedies can slow your heart rate and boost certain immunoglobulins).
These things can actually go a longer way than you might think! Remember that protection from viruses goes deeper than wearing a mask. When you are eating whole foods and taking care of your mental, physical and emotional health you are naturally boosting and strengthening your immune system and its ability to actively fight off bad things that come its way.
Sometimes just feeling like there is something positive you can do amidst the panic, no matter how small, can make a big difference.
So rather than joining the toilet paper panic buyers, be like some of our healthier clients and stock up on nutritious ready made meals, and create opportunities for self care and recovery at home.