Yoghurt is a natural source of good bacteria. These probiotics help with digestion and fight off disease-causing germs in our intestinal tracts. Just 200 ml of yoghurt a day can help boost your immune system. Be sure to choose yoghurts with live active cultures and avoid any with an excess of sugar (anything less than eight grams). Plain and Greek yoghurts are the best option, you can add healthy berries for an added boost.
This one is particularly useful for fighting off colds and the flu. Warm and comforting, there’s some truth behind the old wives tales of chicken soup. The soothing broth not only alleviates your sore throat, but it also helps keep you hydrated. The combination of ingredients in chicken soup provides vitamins and minerals to boost your immune system, and have an anti-inflammatory effect. It’s true – chicken soup is good for the soul (and body).
Mushrooms – the perfect ingredient for a wide range of dishes, you can add them to everything. But, did you know these tasty fungi also boost your immune system? Yes, mushrooms have antiviral properties and help increase your white blood cells, which helps fight off infections. Shitake mushrooms in particular pack a boosting punch, acting as an anti-inflammatory.
We’re all familiar with the flavoursome yellow powder used in curry dishes. But were you aware turmeric is also a superfood? This delicious spice has high antioxidant properties and is considered a natural anti-inflammatory. Adding a daily dose of turmeric to your diet will help give you an immune boost against colds, coughs and congestion.
Packed with vitamin C, citrus fruits such as oranges, grapefruits and limes are great immune booster. Because our bodies don’t produce vitamin C on their own, it’s essential to stock up with a healthy dose of fruits and vegetables. These fruits are also low in sugar content (read our flu-fighting tips to discover why sugar should be avoided) and high in antioxidants – ideal for fighting off infections.
Spinach is also full of vitamin C! Not only that, but it’s high in antioxidants, which help boost your immune system and fight off viruses. The best way to get the full benefit from spinach’s nutrients is by eating it raw. So definitely add those leafy greens to your salads. Other leafy green vegetables to include in your diet are broccoli and cabbage.
Fortified cereals rich in zinc, should be included in your daily diet. This important mineral helps maintain your immune system and heal wounds. Other sources of zinc include beans, pumpkin seeds, eggs and red meat. You should also add a serving of whole grains such as oats and barley in your diet.
You can smell garlic from a mile away, but fending off the vampires isn’t the only reason to add it to your food. Garlic contains a compound called allicin which combats bacteria and infections. Studies have shown that a daily dose of garlic helps keep away the common cold, so don’t be shy when flavouring your dishes.
Don’t forget to boost your immune system with plenty of liquids
In addition to a healthy diet, don’t forget to stay hydrated. Keeping hydrated is crucial for staying healthy. Some liquids can help boost your immune system as well. Green tea is full of antioxidants and has powerful antibacterial and antiviral properties. It also acts as an anti-inflammatory. While a diet rich in superfoods is important for boosting your immune system and staying healthy, good healthcare is valuable as well.