Like us, you have probably spent a lot of time thinking about your health recently. With Covid-19 dominating the headlines day in and day out, it’s hard not to. What we choose to eat can have a huge impact on our body which is why we wanted to take some of the guesswork out of healthy eating by developing the Immune Booster Bag. We’ve carefully selected five immune-boosting powerhouses that can easily be incorporated into your diet, each of which are rich in the vitamins and minerals the body needs to help keep your immune system strong and happy.
We’ve all been told since childhood that eating carrots will help you see in the dark, but they’ve got much more to offer than that. The bright orange hue of carrots is due to high levels of the pigment beta-carotene, which, once ingested is converted into vitamin A. Your immune system loves vitamin A because it helps to maintain your body’s natural barriers against infection and are used in the production of white blood cells. Carrots are a versatile vegetable and can be easily incorporated into your meals but if you fancy something different, try using them as a base for soup or juices.
For us, strawberries mark the beginning of summer and picnics with friends and family, but did you know these delicious berries also pack an immune boosting punch? Among other vitamins and minerals, strawberries are extremely rich in vitamin C, an antioxidant that benefits the immune system in multiple ways. Your body can’t make vitamin C, so relies on sourcing it from the foods you eat on a daily basis. Pair with peanut or almond butter on your morning toast or add them to a smoothie to give your immune system a real treat!
Similar to strawberries, blackberries are also rich in vitamin C and great for the immune system. The purple pigment that gives fruit and vegetables such as blackberries, blueberries and plums their colour is called anthocyanins, a powerful antioxidant. This means blackberries have great anti-viral and anti-inflammatory benefits and is why we love to eat the rainbow! As well as being a great standalone snack, try them in a crumble or tossed in with a salad.
If you’ve ever had a cold, someone has probably told you to make a ginger tea, and not without good reason. Ginger is a great source of antioxidants and has anti-inflammatory properties to ease the symptoms of colds and flu, as well as other ailments such as nausea and indigestion. We recommend combining with fresh honey or lemon in tea, grating in a stir-fry or making a delicious carrot and ginger soup.
The citrus staple! The lemon is another great source of vitamin C and antioxidants and can be used to help digestion. High in flavour, lemons can easily be incorporated into your daily meals to boost your immune system. Though classically paired with fish and chicken you could also add slices into your water or mix with olive oil, salt and pepper to use as a dressing for salads and pasta. If you’ve got some time, try preserving them to use in future recipes such as couscous or tagine.