Life hack #3: 10 pantry staples to strengthen your immune system
If you’re like most of us, you’ve been paying special attention to your immunity and wondering what you can do to boost yours.
While there’s no single food that is magically going to help you avoid getting coughs and colds, there are ways to give your immunity a real supercharge: get more sleep, stay hydrated, exercise, wash your hands. And fill your pantry with immunity-fighting foods.
The immune system is complex, and eating a variety of colourful fruits and veges, grains and lean proteins gives us vital nutrients like Vitamins A, C, D, E, and minerals like folate, calcium, selenium and zinc.
Many foods fight inflammation, which is the immune response in the body that makes tissues inflamed. When you reduce inflammation in the body, your body can work better, which means your immune system will cope better with fending off threats.
A lot of us won’t realise that we already stock some foods at home that are known to help boost our immunity.
Sweet potatoe / Kumara
The Center for Science in the Public Interest named the sweet potato the world’s healthiest vegetable. Just a cup of sweet potatoe with the skin delivers many times the Vitamin C and three times the Vitamin A you need in a day.
Oily canned fish such as tuna, mackerel and salmon are excellent sources of vitamins and minerals. 3 ounces of tuna has all the selenium you need, and an abundance of zinc. Selenium enhances your immune response and reduces inflammation by lowering oxidative stress. Fatty fish is also rich in omega-3 gats, which may help to reduce the risk of heart attacks and strokes.
Peanut butter is in in nearly everyone’s cupboard, and it’s packed full of micronutrients including potassium and magnesium. Natural almonds are another great source of belly-filling fibre and disease fighting monounsaturated fats.
The incredible, edible egg. One complete egg is a great source of healthy fats and protein, plus 10% of your Vitamin A, a quarter of your selenium, and all the zinc you need in a day.
Spinach - Popeye’s go-to magic food. Half a cup of these dark leafy greens gives you 14mg of Vitamin C – that’s 190 times your daily requirement. Other powerhouse greens like kale and swiss chard are loaded with Vitamins A, C and K, folate and potassium, magnesium, calcium, iron and fibre.
Loaded with Vitamins C and K, carotenoids, and folate. It’s also rich in zinc which is important in preventing inflammation and balancing your immune response.
Dig out those lentils you have lurking in the back of your pantry and add them to stews and soups. They’re a great source of folate and fibre and Vitamin B which supports immune function as well as your mood.
All beans are rich in protein, fibre, copper, folate, iron, magnesium, potassium and zinc. Beans are an all-round staple and go well in many dishes, from Mexican Chilli Con Carne, or vege soups and curries.
We all know foods like sauerkraut, kimchi and yogurt help to keep the gut microbiome healthy and balanced. Intestinal balance is key to wellness. Throw in some berries or bananas with plain Greek Yogurt for a supercharged bowl of goodness no matter the time of day.
Banana’s are nature’s on-the-go immune boosters! They’re a portable source of quick energy as they provide a burst of natural sugar with a blood stabilising dose of fibre.
And lastly, there’s the Nutrient Rescue superfood powders. We’ve done all the hard work by taking the most nutritious foods and harvesting them at their peak, drying them and making them into a powder. All that’s left for you to do is add water and swallow. A single daily shot is all it takes to help boost your immunity and get your baseline of good nutrition.