8 foods that help boost the immune system

For SHA Wellness Clinic
|
Tuesday November 8th, 2022
Healthy nutrition
A healthy and balanced diet is essential for keeping your body’s natural defences at their best.

The next few months are arguably the most critical months of the year for the immune system and will test its ability and resistance to defend against attack by viruses and bacteria, which spread more easily in the weather conditions typically found in autumn and winter. “Immunity is compromised by increased pollution, man-made chemicals, toxic foods and stress”, explains Melanie Waxman, a specialist in Integrative Nutrition and Natural Therapies at SHA Wellness Clinic. “It is essential to be aware that we live in a world full of harmful substances, but it is also important to learn to live in it”. The expert recommends the following dishes, foods and condiments to best boost the immune system:

 

  1. Porridge of oats, berries, chia and flaxseed: this energising breakfast will help you cope better with all the challenges of the day and keep your immune system strong. Oats contain amino acids, minerals like potassium and magnesium, vitamins and complex carbohydrates that support the nervous system, regulate sleep patterns and promote relaxation. The berries are a source of vitamin C and the seeds provide omega-3 fatty acids and protein.

 

  1. Miso soup: this soup contains all the essential amino acids and is rich in antioxidants. Not only does it help cleanse the body, it also stimulates the secretion of digestive fluids, strengthens the immune system and protects against free radicals.

 

  1. Umeboshi: a fermented, sour and salty, highly alkaline, mineral-packed variety of Japanese plum that acts as a natural probiotic, improves digestion and liver function, and boosts both energy and immunity. It also helps inhibit the growth of bacteria in water, food and blood.

 

  1. Nori seaweed: this seaweed is alkaline and a source of vitamin C, omega-3 fatty acids, protein and minerals. You can use it to roll rice balls when making sushi or cook it with tamari soy sauce and use it as a condiment. In addition, nori flake powder can be sprinkled on food as a garnish.

 

  1. Kukicha tea is rich in vitamin C, calcium and antioxidants and is low in caffeine. To enhance its properties and flavour, add a squeeze of lemon and a teaspoon of rice molasses.

 

  1. Spirulina detox juice: packed with calcium and protein and high in chlorophyll, spirulina helps increase oxygen flow, cleanse the body of toxins, promotes immune recovery and improves symptoms of jet lag. Since it tastes a little strong, you can drink it mixed in a fresh vegetable juice with carrot, apple, celery, cucumber, lemon and a pinch of cinnamon.

 

  1. Sauerkraut: eat a tablespoon a day and your immune system will thank you. The fermentation process of cabbage multiplies its levels of vitamin C and antioxidant levels, boosting the body’s defences, relieving stress and minimising the impact of free radicals.

 

  1. Apple cider vinegar: this type of vinegar is alkaline, antioxidant, contains essential amino acids and is a source of probiotics, so it boosts the immune system and improves digestion. Add a tablespoon of vinegar to a glass of water and drink it before meals.

 

Finally, season your dishes with ginger, turmeric or garlic because they have anti-inflammatory properties that help boost the immune system.

 

Click here to find out more about how to strengthen your natural defences.

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