As the winter progresses, coughs and colds can quickly take hold and your immune system can come under strain. While there is no way to cure the common cold, making sure your immune system is strong can help reduce the duration and severity of any illness. The best way to keep your immune system in fine fettle is to eat well, sleep well and keep moving. Eating a good variety of fresh fruits, vegetables, herbs and spices can help keep you healthy. Certain foods are particularly beneficial – you will find some of them in these immune boosting recipes:
Immune Boosting Smoothies
One of the best ways to give your immune system a boost is to make sure that you include plenty of vitamin C in your diet. A great way to start your day is with a smoothie packed with fruits and vegetables rich in vitamin C, and other vitamins and nutrients. Citrus fruits, berries, greens such as spinach, beetroot, carrots, seeds, honey, probiotic yoghurt and more can be added to a breakfast smoothie for a healthy start to the day.
Immune Boosting Mushroom Broth
Sauté some onions and garlic in a little coconut or olive oil. Add mushrooms and a dash of turmeric and allow it to simmer for as long as possible. Add kale, bok choy and other winter greens from your polytunnel to the mushroom broth for the last few minutes of cooking, then serve for lunch, as a starter, or as a light, mid-week meal.
Immune Boosting Lentil Dahl
Curry lovers will be glad to know that many of the spices used in such dishes are excellent for good immune systems and general health. Sauté onions and garlic along with spices such as turmeric, cumin, ginger, and dried chillies then add lentils and vegetable stock/water and simmer until the lentils are soft. Serve your immune-boosting dahl with rice, chapatis or naan.
Immune Boosting Pumpkin Peanut Stew
Make a simple stew with pumpkin, and whatever other stored vegetables and winter greens you have around. Stews are great winter warmers, and can be comfort food at this time of the year. Adding peanuts will help thicken the stew, and provide a much-needed protein boost. You can season your stew to taste, though adding ginger, turmeric and honey could all help to keep illness at bay.
Immune Boosting Fruit Salad
For an immune boosting desert, why not serve a simple fruit salad – the more varied and the more colourful the better. A fruit salad is another great way to add plenty of vitamins to your system and keep your body healthy.
The general rule when it comes to eating well and keeping your immune system healthy is to eat a good variety of fruits and vegetables to give a good mix of vitamins and minerals. Do you have a favourite immune-boosting recipe? Let us know in the comments below.
Elizabeth Waddington is a writer and green living consultant living in Scotland. Permaculture and sustainability are at the heart of everything she does, from designing gardens and farms around the world, to inspiring and facilitating positive change for small companies and individuals.
She also works on her own property, where she grows fruit and vegetables, keeps chickens and is working on the eco-renovation of an old stone barn.