Health foods to boost immune system

Health foods to boost immune system

30 March 2020

By Claire Canon – Dietitian 

The world has changed and everyone I talk to is worried about getting COVID-19, I can also see the ramp up of home remedies appearing on Facebook. 

Lets be clear everyone, garlic probably wont ward off COVID-19 like it does vampires. Washing your hands, staying away if you are sick and calling Healthline if you are worried are your first steps. In saying that, what you eat does influence your immune system and it seems prudent to have a strong one over the next while. 

Vitamin C: This helps support immunity and is present in all of your brightly coloured fruit and veggies- apples, pears, berries, greens, pumpkin, kumara, citrus, tomatoes, kiwifruit etc. Herbs are also a great source like parsley, thyme and mint. Raw is best for vitamin C, but cooked is OK too. 

Zinc: Helpful for preventing colds - this is found in red meat, shellfish, eggs, lentils, beans, chickpeas. 

Fermented foods: These keep your immune system up to date with whats going on in the world of microbes so have a bit more yoghurt, sauerkraut, kimchi, kombucha or kefir if you can still get it.

Ginger, turmeric and garlic:  Your partner might not love you if you eat raw garlic but your immune system will. Along with ginger, garlic is very anti-microbial and immune-boosting. Go easy on the raw garlic though as it does burn a bit, maybe mix it into a dressing and make your own ginger tea by putting slices of ginger root into hot water. Turmeric is an anti-inflammatory spice regularly used in Indian cooking

Manuka honey: Manuka honey is great for sore throats and is antimicrobial. 

So dont worry about stocking up on toilet paper next time you hit the supermarket, grab some fruit and veggies instead, fresh or frozen its all good! Be well out there. 


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