At this time of year every single type of lurgy seems to be going around. Coughs, colds, stomach bugs, viruses, you name it… someone has got it! As the event season draws to a close you may be feeling a little run down and frazzled, thanks to several months of early starts, late finishes and perhaps not nourishing your body as well as you could have! However I have a few foodie essentials that you can easily incorporate in your diet to keep your immune system fighting fit and battling the bugs this season…
Whole foods are by far the most nutrient dense and eating a diet that is based on unprocessed, real food that hasn’t been tweaked and tampered with, I believe, is the foundation for a healthy and strong immune system. Incorporating some of the following foods will give you a better chance of staying on your feet this season…
Eating the rainbow. Incorporating a wide range of fruit and vegetables is key to immunity and provides the body with a range of different vitamins and minerals, including antioxidants, fibre and phytonutrients. Leafy greens such as spinach and kale are rich in vitamin A, C, and chlorophyll. Purple and red foods such as blueberries, beetroot, red peppers and tomatoes are high in antioxidants, meanwhile sweet potatoes and carrots contain vitamin A and beta-carotene as well as good amounts of vitamin C. Including a full spectrum of colours in your diet will help make sure you are getting a balance of nutrients to give you that all important winter glow!
Bone Broth. You may think that this sounds horrible – but hear me out on this and think of it as a hearty, warming soup. Bone Broth is one of the simplest things to make, yet couldn’t be more packed full of wellness benefits. One of my favourite celebrity chef duos has a great and easy recipe here and once you have made it you can add it to other dishes and soups, or simply enjoy it on its own. (http://www.hemsleyandhemsley.com/recipe/bone-broth/). Bone Broth helps to heal and seal your gut, can support your joints, provides a rich source of collagen to help your skin, improves bone strength, increases energy and thanks to the high concentration of minerals – can power up your immune system. It is cheaper to make than any packet of cold and flu medicine!
Yoghurt. Full fat plain yoghurt is full of protein and calcium as we all know – however did you know that it also contains probiotics which can help balance out the harmful bacteria in the gut and support your digestive system? Our guts are fundamental to immunity so taking care of your tummy will have a positive knock on effect to the rest of your body. For an added boost drizzle some Manuka honey in which has been said to help heal sore throats, boost immunity and heal inflammation – amongst many other benefits!
Rest and recuperate. If you do succumb to germs then the most important thing you can possibly do is rest. While it might seem out of the question – your body needs all its energy to fight off illness and get you well again. The longer you ‘keep going’, despite the temptation, the longer you will be ill for. I know us horsey folk are not akin to sitting down and doing nothing but when you are under the weather it is the only way to knock it on the head. By resting you are likely to cut down the time you spend feeling awful and be back on your feet in no time. Alongside rest, make sure you drink plenty of fluids and try and get a wide range of nutrients in the diet – including lots of fresh fruit and vegetables.
Super Simple Health Boosting Green Smoothie
Large handful of raw spinach
Large handful of raw kale (remove big stalks)
1 green apple with skin on but core removed
1 inch of fresh ginger peeled
2 tbsp plain full fat yoghurt
Optional tsp Manuka/Local honey if extra sweetness is needed
300-500ml water/coconut water (depending how thick you like it)
Blitz and enjoy!
If you want more recipe ideas, wellness tips or to discuss Nutrition Coaching with Lauren visit www.listenupbeautiful.co.uk