There has been a lot of media attention about the Corona virus (Covid-19) and how it is spreading across the globe, with the UK's infection rate increasing daily which has led to our recently announced second lockdown. We already know that those with underlying illnesses may be more at risk e.g. people with cardiovascular diseases, diabetes and asthma.
Feeding your body certain foods may help boost your immune system and stave off viral infections or other illnesses that can make you more susceptible to the Corona virus. These foods are great at helping reduce your chances of getting a cold or the flu and other infections which latch on to weakened immune systems.
So try to incorporate the following foods into your diet to help keep your immune system topped up and hopefully stave off any unwanted infections, viral or bacterial:
Vitamin C Filled Fruits
Most people turn to vitamin C after they have caught a cold. Vitamin C helps build up your natural immune system and increases the production of white blood cells, which are key in fighting infections. However, getting enough Vitamin C in your diet PRIOR to an infection is much more effective - prevention rather than cure.
Red Peppers (twice as much Vit C as oranges!)
As your body does not produce or store Vitamin C, it is essential that you get enough of it on a daily basis.
Once the much revialed vegetable of childhood, broccoli provides our body with a great immune system boost. A chemical in broccoli switches on a set of antioxidant genes and enzymes in specific immune cells, which then combat the injurious effects of molecules known as free radicals that can damage cells and lead to disease.
Broccoli helps deliver a super compound called Sulforaphane Glucosinolate, which is known as a disease-fighting agent that boosts immunity. Sulforaphane is a sulfur-rich compound found in several cruciferous vegetables like bok choy, cabbage and kale, but broccoli delivers the mother load. When it is activated as glucosinolate, this compound fights off bugs.
Once the indigestible fibres from the broccoli reach the colon, gut bugs start feasting on the fibre and making short-chain fatty acids. This, in turn, leads to healthy gut bacteria, bowel health, and improved immune health. As an overall marker of health, gut health is quite important as it has a profound influence not only on our digestive function but also on our mood and brain function and may also affect our weight.
Garlic has long been associated with health benefits, and at just 4 calories per clove, it's a low-cal immunity-boosting superstar. One clove contains 5 mg of calcium, 12 mg of potassium, and more than 100 sulfuric compounds -- powerful enough to wipe out bacteria and infection (it was used to prevent gangrene in both world wars). Raw garlic, not cooked or dried, is most beneficial for health, since heat and water inactivate sulfur enzymes, which can diminish garlic's antibiotic effects. In clinical trials, the toxin-fighting staple seems to lower blood pressure and cholesterol and kill parasites in the body.
Spinach is packed with numerous antioxidants and beta carotene, which may both increase the infection-fighting ability of our immune system. Similar to broccoli, spinach is healthiest when it's cooked as little as possible so that it retains its nutrients.
Spinach also helps strengthen your bones, promote a healthy heart and aids efficient digesiton to ensure you process foods in the best way to minimise calorie-storage and mazimise calorie usage. Plus, it contains vitamin C which is a powerful immune-booster and vitamin E which helps to protect the lungs and liver.
In mild and moderate doses, ginger can be extremely beneficial to your immune system. The anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties in ginger can improve your immunity whilst also supporting digestion, reducing nausea and reducing pain. It does this becvause it has anti-bacterial properties.
Ginger is also a natural blood thinner and contains a phenolic anti-inflammatory compound called gingerol that may be responsible for relaxing blood vessels.
Tasty and versatile in many dishes, onions are filled with immune-boosting nutrients like selenium, sulfur compounds, zinc, and vitamin C. Plus, like broccoli, they are one of the best sources of quercetin, which has antiviral properties. Plus, onions provide additional health benefits, including helping to prevent the oxidation of LDL cholesterol and clot formation and helping to lower blood sugar.
There are also several other great immune shystem boosting foods but see how you get on incorporating these foods into your weekly diet. See the difference after a few weeks of consuming these foods and hopefully you will help stave off unwanted viruses and bacteria.
Stay safe and well during this coming second lockdown. Let's hope things will be lifted in time for Christmas!
Thanks for reading,
The Slim Transformation Team