As the global battle against COVID-19 rages on, our bodies are waging a war of their own. We’re all doing our best to stay healthy and protect ourselves from the virus. And, to do that, it’s essential that we get plenty of the nutrients that support our immune systems.
There are hundreds of supplement brands out there that help boost the immune system, but in most cases, you can rely on a varied, nutritious diet to fuel your immune system. So, instead of packing your cabinets with pills, keep your fridge stocked up with the foods that your body needs to thrive.
Superfoods, which are foods that are thought to be most nutritious, have never been as important as they are right now. The high concentration of vitamins and minerals in the following foods makes them must-haves in your home.
Ginger is best known for its digestive properties. However, this superfood root has a lengthy list of other benefits including lower blood sugar, improved cholesterol level, and yes - an improved immune system.
Ginger’s antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties may assist your body in protecting the respiratory tract, and the combination of zinc and vitamins C, B6, and B3 creates an antiviral and antibacterial effect that can help fight infections.
To take full advantage of the benefits, ginger should be consumed regularly. A great way of doing this is by making a homemade ginger concentrate. The recipe is simple: all you need is water, sugar, lots of ginger paste. You can use the concentrate for tea or fizzy drinks, or to prepare a homemade beer as a fun lockdown project.
Garlic was used throughout ancient history for its medicinal properties and it’s still one of the best superfoods out there today. It’s packed with vitamins B6 and C, selenium, and manganese and has great antimicrobial properties. The positive effects of garlic are far-reaching, including preventing heart diseases and high cholesterol, and it’s a solid immune system enhancer that can help to hold off viruses and infections.
Beyond that, garlic is a key ingredient in lots of different meal preps. From Indian curries to Argentine chimichurri sauce and even tea: garlic can be used for almost anything. A simple garlic-loaded recipe is baked chicken and asparagus. Simply combine herbs and 4-5 cloves of garlic in oil, then mix with the vegetables and chicken and bake.
Kale is a king among leafy greens, and it deserves a special spot in the diet of anyone looking to get a good dose of vitamins A, C, and K.
As a superb source of vitamin C, kale boosts your immune system by regulating cellular regeneration and function. In addition, kale boasts impressive antioxidant properties, contains heaps of potassium and calcium, and is one of the rare vitamin K abundant foods that add few calories to your diet.
You can complement most of your dishes with kale. Planning to make a bolognese? You can add kale to the sauce to enrich the flavor. Making a summer salad? Consider changing your romaine lettuce for kale. Hearty soup? Say no more - this tomato bean kale soup recipe is delicious.
Matcha is a specially processed green tea that has been a traditional drink in East Asia for generations. In fact, products derived from matcha like ice cream and cookies have been common in Japan for many years. However, this superfood only gained recognition in western countries fairly recently, and it’s slowly starting to appear in bio stores and grocery stores across the US.
Matcha is said to have a huge range of benefits including protecting the liver, boosting brain function, and promoting heart health. It’s also an excellent antioxidant, which helps to prevent the accumulation of free radicals. This is important for the immune system because it reduces cell damage and protects against chronic illness.
Some say that matcha is an acquired taste, but it can be combined with other ingredients to make it much more palatable. If you like bitter but rich flavors, try a matcha shot with almond milk. If you have more of a sweet tooth, this matcha chocolate cookie recipe is a delicious one-bowl treat. Or, a great savory breakfast option with a healthy matcha twist is this tasty eggs Benedict recipe.
Chia is a small, round, black or white seed derived from Latin America that's now found in many grocery stores. They are a formidable source of antioxidants and omega-3 fatty acids which are hugely beneficial for boosting immunity. And, similar to kale, consuming chia seeds can accelerate metabolic processes to aid weight loss. They’re also a good source of protein, which makes them an excellent addition to a vegan diet.
Chia seeds are pretty flavorless, so they can be mixed into smoothies, juices, and yogurts, or sprinkled on top of salads. Or, you can rustle up this chia pudding recipe for a healthy sweet treat.
Keeping Healthy During Coronavirus
Keeping your body healthy has never been more important and could help protect you from getting sick. When combined with a healthy, active lifestyle, consuming the correct foods can make a big difference to your wellbeing. Take care not to neglect your mental health, too. Check out our article on how to take care of your mind during COVID-19.
Superfoods won’t work miracles, but adding them to your daily diet can give a much-needed boost to your immune system. And, if you’re heading to the store to buy the ingredients in this article, don’t forget your mask!