Updated: Mar 23, 2020
The health and well-being of our global community has been thrown into the spotlight and it is only natural to wonder 'what can we do to stay safe and well?'
With so much confusion and worry surrounding us right now I feel it is important to take this time to reflect on our lifestyle choices and take steps to improve our immune systems for the good of ourselves and those around us.
The immune system is precisely that — a system, not a single entity. To function well, it requires balance within the whole being. It is intricate and interconnected and therefore there is no, one thing we can do that would improve the function.
Instead we must follow general good health strategies that will protect us as a whole from the environmental onslaughts & keep us functioning at our best.
* Eat a diet high in fruits and vegetables.
* Exercise regularly
* Maintain a healthy weight
* Keep alcohol consumption moderate
* Don't smoke
* Get plenty of sleep
* Avoid infections by washing your hands frequently
* Try to minimize stress
Focusing on diet, the immune system needs good, regular nourishment. There is evidence to suggest consuming sufficient micro nutrients such as zinc, selenium, iron, folic acid and vitamins such as A, B6, C and E can improve immune function. A good diet loaded with vegetables and fruits will supply you with all these and more!
Some of our favourite immune booster foods:
* elderberries (cooked)
* sweet potatoes
* organic berries
Don't forget that frozen and tinned fruits and vegetables will provide you with goodness too. Aim for variety, mix up your colours and eat the rainbow!
Here's a recipe for a Sweet potato, Turmeric and Ginger soup that will provide loads of immune boosting properties and it is delicious to boot.
SWEET POTATO, TURMERIC AND GINGER SOUP
2 large sweet potatoes (OR 4 carrots)
400ml coconut milk - full fat (any plant-milk is fine)
1 inch fresh ginger (or 1tbsp powder)
1 large garlic clove
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon turmeric powder (OR thumb of fresh grated)
Twist of black pepper
Handful lentils/chickpeas/butterbeans (pre-cooked)
Handful fresh parsley - finely chopped
1. Chop the sweet potato into cubes and put into a large soup pan.
2. Add the water and coconut milk and turn on the heat (once it comes to the boil, turn it down to a simmer).
3. In the meantime, peel and finely grate the ginger. Crush the garlic clove.
4. Add ginger, garlic, turmeric, salt and black pepper to the pan.
5. Cook for 30 minutes (or until you can easily pierce the sweet potato with a fork).
6. Blend with a hand blender or simply mash through with a potato masher to break everything down into pieces and help everything meld together nicely.
7. Add the chickpeas and parsley, mix and serve