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5 Everyday Foods To Boost Your Family’s Immunity Fast

By Carmela Pengelly 22 March 2020 813 Views No comments

Your guide to common foods you can feed your family to boost their immunity.

Strengthening your immune system doesn’t have to be expensive or complicated. Just choosing the right foods and incorporating them into your meals consistently will make a difference and help you and your family avoid colds, flu and other infections over the winter.

Here are some of the top everyday foods you can eat that will help support your body’s own defences:

1. OLIVES

Olives and olive oil have wonderful health-boosting properties. They are high in antioxidants, particularly a polyphenol substance called oleuropein, which act as potent natural antibacterial and antiviral agents.

Eating plenty of olives and choosing the best quality extra virgin olive oil you can find will ensure you get the benefits of this great food. We recommend Macintyre Brook Grove Extra Virgin Olive Oil. You might also like to try Byron Bay Olive Company’s amazing selection of olives and olive-based foods.

2. STEWED APPLES

Apples also contain polyphenols. You can benefit from eating apples as they are and research has shown that eating stewed apples on a regular basis will increase your antioxidant levels, reduce inflammation and help fight against diseases.

Stewed apples also have benefits for gut health and promote good gut flora. Gut bacteria play a crucial role in regulating our immunity and poor gut microbial balance will weaken your immune system.

SPICY STEWED APPLE

Makes 4 servings

INGREDIENTS

  • 8 medium apples (any type), peeled and sliced
  • 1 tsp ground cloves
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 3 tbsp mix of chopped sunflower and pumpkin seeds

METHOD

  • 1. Add all ingredients to a medium saucepan.
  • 2. Cook on a low heat until apples soften.
  • 3. Store in the fridge for up to three days.

WHAT ARE ANTIOXIDANTS AND WHY DO WE NEED THEM?

The term antioxidants crops up very often these days but what are they and why are they important for immunity?

Antioxidants are compounds that neutralise free radicals which occur as a byproduct of chemical reactions in the body. Free radicals can be damaging as they cause oxidative stress in our cells which weakens our immune system, increases inflammation in the body and damages cells.

Antioxidants have been shown to stop viruses from taking hold, keep cells healthy and reduce risk of degenerative diseases.

3. GARLIC

Garlic is one of the strongest natural bacteria and virus-fighting foods around.

The key to getting the most out of garlic is to eat it raw. It’s easy to do this in tasty and palatable ways by adding crushed garlic to guacamole and hummus, or try our Immune Boosting Bruschetta recipe below.

Garlic also contains vitamin C and is excellent for promoting gut health.

4. SEEDS

Seeds are a good source of zinc. Among its many roles in the body, zinc is an antioxidant and helps boost production of white blood cells and other immune cells.

Seeds highest in zinc include hemp, pumpkin and sunflower seeds. Bump up your seed intake by adding to porridge or yoghurt, or you can try one of the seed and nut-based muesli products now on the market. We recommend Adelia Fine Foods Seed and Nut Muesli.

You can also make an easy trail mix for kids to take to school by mixing seeds with dried fruit and chocolate chips.

5. HIBISCUS TEA

Vitamin C is the go-to nutrient when it comes to maintaining a healthy immune system. Fruits and vegetables that are as fresh as possible are great natural sources, including kiwi fruits, oranges, capsicums and parsley.

You can also increase your vitamin C intake by drinking Hibiscus tea. We recommend Mad Mountain Family Farm’s Hibiscus tea which is a fragrant tea that combines Hibiscus with rose petals, mint, lemongrass, lemon and orange.

Mad Mountain Family Farm have also created a specific Cold and Flu Buster tea that combines Hibiscus with cinnamon, turmeric and other spices to make a tasty potent tea.

SUPER IMMUNITY BRUSCHETTA

Makes about 4 bruschetta

PESTO SAUCE:
INGREDIENTS

  • 5 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • ¼ cup activated pumpkin seeds
  • ¼ cup activated sunflower seeds
  • ½ cup grated parmesan cheese
  • ½ small clove of garlic, crushed
  • 1 small handful basil leaves
  • 1 small handful spinach leaves
  • salt and pepper to taste

METHOD

1. Blend together all ingredients.

N.B If you have any pesto left over from this dish, you can store in the fridge for up to three days or freeze.

BRUSCHETTA:

  • 4 slices ciabatta or sourdough bread
  • 1 clove garlic, halved
  • 1-2 tbsp of good quality olive oil
  • 3 tomatoes, chopped

METHOD

  • 1. Lightly toast the bread.
  • 2. Use a pastry brush to spread olive oil over one side of the toast.
  • 3. Rub cut sides of garlic over the same side of the toast as the olive oil.
  • 4. Spread over pesto sauce.
  • 5. Top with chopped tomatoes.
  • 6. Eat cold or heat under a grill for a few minutes.

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