Now more than ever, it's important to boost your immunity with these superfoods and delicious recipes to get you inspired, while staying at home.
Discover 6 Immunity-Boosting Superfoods to Eat During Lockdown
With everyone instructed to stay at home during COVID-19 Alert Level 4 measures, you can use this down time to whip up new recipes that contain immunity-boosting ingredients to help you stay healthy and maintain a nutritious diet. While no superfoods can “cure” or protect you from the coronavirus, these foods can help to bolster your immunity with little to no effort. While some of these food items may come as no surprise to you and already be staples in your pantry, it’ll serve as a good reminder and inspiration to get creative the next time you’re in the kitchen.
1. Sweet potato and carrots
Belonging to the red, yellow and orange coloured food group, sweet potatoes and carrots are delightful sources of beta carotene, which is a precursor to vitamin A. According to the healthline, the benefits of consuming beta carotene-rich foods can include:
- Improving cognitive function
- Maintaining your skin’s health and appearance
- Protecting your lung health
- Reducing macular degeneration
- Preventing cancer
Replace your standard baked potato with a baked sweet potato or make sweet potato mash for an easy menu change-up. Carrots are great eaten on their own with your favourite dip of choice.
Hailing from India and other parts of Southeast Asia, Turmeric’s primary active component is curcumin. Curcumin is what gives turmeric its vibrant yellow colour. Popularly used in Asian curries, curcumin isn’t just a flavour enhancer, it is also a powerhouse when it comes to its anti-inflammatory and gut health benefits.
A simple way to add more turmeric to your diet is by adding it to your go-to spice mixture as a BBQ rub or by using it in your home-made salad dressing.
3. Green leafy vegetables
By no means a new-comer to the game, green vegetables are a vital source of anti-inflammatory antioxidants and also provide key immune-boosting nutrients such as vitamins A, C and folate.
Plus, did you know that foods rich in folic acid, such as spinach, broccoli and asparagus, can help you body generate new cell growth and improve circulation in the body, thus aiding the overall health of the hair cells in your inner ear? If you’ve had success with using your diet to maintain or improve your hearing health, the team at bloom™ hearing specialists would love to hear about it!
Thinking of ways to incorporate more greens into your current diet? Rather than opting for your usual Greek salad, why not try an Asian-style veggie stir fry? Just throw a few bunches of greens such as buk choy or choy sum into the fry pan with a splash of olive oil and a good douse of oyster sauce – away you go!
Another delicious, fool-proof method is by adding a handful of spinach or kale into a smoothie. You can change up the ingredients to suit your personal taste preference.
A garlic a day keeps the vampires away! But in all seriousness, a research study found that the group that had a garlic supplement daily for 12 weeks throughout the cold season, experienced significantly fewer colds and recovered faster if infected, compared to the placebo group.
Mouth-watering recipes that hero garlic as an ingredient include the traditional Italian pasta dish, Spaghetti Aglio E Olio.
Using ingredients that you most likely already have in your pantry, this garlic-starring dish is sure to be a hit, even with the fussiest of eaters. You can try out this recipe by eatwell.co.nz.
5. Pomegranate juice
Containing higher levels of antioxidants that most other common fruit juices, the anti-inflammatory properties of pomegranate juice can help to inhibit the growth of cancer cells, as well as control the inflammation associated with arthritis, amongst other benefits. It can also assist you to lower blood pressure, which is critical during stressful times.
6. Red capsicum
Compared to an orange that has about 53 milligrams of vitamin C per 100 grams, the red capsicum has:
- Almost triple that at 127 milligrams per 100 grams
- Plus, when cooked, the vitamin C level rises again to about 171 milligrams per 100 grams
So next time you reach for an orange when you feel a cold coming on, think twice. Stuffed baked capsicum is a house-hold favourite amongst many and can take as little as 15 minutes to prepare. A heart-warming comfort food during the colder months, you may want to test out this stuffed capsicum recipe by New Zealand Woman’s Weekly on foodtolove.co.nz.
Eat the rainbow and reap the immunity-boosting rewards
And there you have it, six immunity-boosting foods to try adding to your diet during the coming weeks to keep yourself feeling healthy and revitalised, even if you’re stuck at home. On top of maintaining a healthy diet, be sure to also try out our easy exercises to do at home, to ensure that you’re keeping your physical activity levels up too!