How are you feeling? I am hoping that you and your immune system are all fighting fit and well? Here in the Northern Hemisphere it is winter. That brings us cold, rain, wind, snow, ice, you name it, mother nature will be throwing at us this time of the year.
Keeping our immune systems in good shape to fight the battle against infections etc that are ever present at this time of year is important. It’s actually easier than you think. Trying to do this with supplements is just a non starter for me. I have the memory span of a gold fish (no offence intended to gold fish here!). I have tried and failed many times at taking supplements but I just forget so its a non starter for me.
A healthy and balanced diet will do it though. Who am I kidding, the self confessed eater of cake for breakfast here! Well, no, I really do try and eat as healthy a diet as possible so the occasional sugar fest for breakfast is not going to kill me. If you just make sure your diet contains lots of these 6 healthy ingredients your immune system will be in tip top shape.If you just make sure your diet contains lots of these 6 healthy ingredients your immune system will be in tip top shape. Click To Tweet
6 Things Your Immune System Needs Now
A powerful and important antioxidant formed from cysteine. It comes from Whey. The liquid on the top of your yoghurt is pure whey so stir it back in! Add whey protein to your morning smoothie. Broccoli is a great source of this nutrient. It is used in every system within your body but especially the immune system. Think of it as an assistant to Vitamins C & E, keeping them working well.
This is vitamin D. We can get all the vitamin D we need from our diet and top it up with sunlight. Vitamin D is formed in our skin when it is exposed to sunlight. Even in the darker days of winter just 15 minutes a day is all we need. Make sure you do not get burnt in strong sunlight though. Incorporating these foods into your diet will keep your vitamin D levels healthy –
- Oily Fish
- Breakfast cereals (watch for those hidden sugars here!)
- Cold Liver Oil
This is a natural chemical pigment that gives fruit and vegetables their red colour. It is a powerful antioxidant that actually chases down those bad free radicals eliminating them and is found to stimulate the immune system.
- Red Peppers
- Pink Grapefruit
Our bodies absorb Lycopene better from heat treated food. Tomato based pasta sauce, home made ketchup are a great source of lycopene. Click the picture to find a delicious recipe using red peppers and cherry tomatoes.
This is made in your bone marrow. It’s a white blood cell that roams around your body battling with bacterial and viruses, it requires beta-glucans to get it going. Get your beta-glucans from high fibre foods. The best place to find them is from steel cut oats.
You could use steel cut oats instead of porridge oats in this recipe for homemade energy bars by Delia Smith. I tried it and although my food photography and general ‘making food look good’ skills are so terrible that I can’t show you my finished results, I can tell you that they are delicious!
This is Vitamin B9 and found in dark leafy vegetables, Folate assists the repair of DNA, speeds up cell growth and assists to produce healthy red blood cells, all these are helpful in keeping our immune systems strong.
- Brussels sprouts
- Beef liver
- Whole grains
- Kidney beans
This recipe for spinach and salmon with strawberry salsa is from Jeannettes Healthy Living, one of my go to places for lovely healthy dishes.Folate assists the repair of DNA, speeds up cell growth and assists to produce healthy red blood cells, all these are helpful in keeping our immune systems strong. Click To Tweet
Another powerful antioxidant that helps your immune system by reducing inflammation. One of the best sources is tea, any type of tea but especially Chamomile. I am a not the biggest tea drinker but I do like natural teas and this Organic Chamomile Blossom Tea is one of my favourites.
This lovely picture of chamomile tea has inspired my to go and make myself a cup. Take care of your immune system and we’ll get through the winter in great shape. On my Shopping Time page this week you will find lots of lovely healthy teas to choose from.