We’re more concerned about our health more than ever. Staying healthy and having a strong immune system is more important than ever before. There are so many theories going around on how to achieve optimal health, so we’ve investigated all the options to bring you this ultimate guide to being your best, most healthy version of yourself!
Important note: No supplements or lifestyle changes will protect you from developing COVID-19. Please still follow and practice the guidelines on social distancing and proper hygiene. The advice outlined below may boost your immune health.
Eat yourself healthy
Your first step should be a visit to your local grocery store, or our Checkers and Woolworths. The following foods have been proven to keep your immune system strong. No amount of supplements can replace feeding your body nutritious foods. Put the following foods on your grocery list immediately:
1. Citrus & Vitamin C
Your body can’t store or keep vitamin C, so it’s important to eat a citrus fruit every single day. You can also supplement your vitamin C intake with chewable tablets or effervescent tablets that dissolve in water like a juice. Both these options are great for kids and the whole family. Find them at Clicks and Dis-Chem. Also make sure that you add grapefruit, oranges, limes and lemons to as many dishes as possible. Drizzle lemon juice over a salad, add citrus to chicken salads and serve grapefruit with breakfast! Fun fact: Red Bell Peppers have TWICE the amount of vitamin C as citrus, so add peppers to all your stews, pastas, soups and stir-frys! Don’t forget the Papaya and Kiwis – the other super fruits!
All vegetables are good for us, but did you know that Broccoli and Spinach are the best-rated vegetables for your immune system? These veggies are loaded with antioxidants, vitamins and minerals to support your health. The trick to these vegetables is that they are best served cooked as little as possible – or raw (even better)! So add them to all your salads and wraps for extra healthy crunch.
3. Ginger and Garlic
Garlic is packed with immune-boosting properties, said to come from a heavy concentration of sulfur compounds. It’s been recognised as a powerful flu-fighter for centuries. Ginger is said to decrease inflammation. Many people take a ‘shot’ of lemon juice and ginger in the mornings with their breakfast, while other people prefer getting ginger from fresh juices, smoothies and with their sushi. You can add garlic to just about any cooked dish, so add that little bit extra in the coming months!
4. White meat
There’s a reason that people turn to chicken soup when they’re sick. Chicken is super rich in Vitamin B-6, an important player in the body. It’s vital for the formation of new red blood cells! Chicken broth (made by boiling chicken bones) is rich in nutrients helpful for gut health and immunity. Shellfish is packed with Zinc! Our bodies need zinc to that our immune cells can function as intended. Crab, crayfish and mussels are great examples and a fantastic excuse to make a seafood paella! (don’t forget the broccoli and red peppers!)
5. Nuts and seeds
Sunflower seeds are packed with nutrients, including magnesium and are very high in Vitamin E – a very powerful antioxidant. Vitamin E is important to regulate and maintain the immune system function. Sprinkle them over salads and into leafy wraps. Another key player is Almonds! Half a cup of shelled almonds provides nearly 100% of the daily recommended amount of Vitamin E. They are a delicious snack and also great in cereals and muesli.
Supplementing is important
If you’re eating on the run, or don’t have the time, resources or confidence to cook nutritious meals every day – then supplementing will help you. There are four vitamins that are proven to support your immunity. They are: Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Vitamin B6 and Zinc. Come chat to one of our pharmacists at either Clicks or Dis-Chem to find the supplements that will work best for you and your family.
We are wishing all our colleagues, staff, shoppers and community health and safety. We are also heading into our winter months and flu season, so we hope that the tips above will help you live a healthier, stronger lifestyle. Stay safe everyone!