Feeling low and full of cold? Read on to discover how to eat your way to good health, from sports nutritionist Liam Holmes
1. Brazil nuts and pumpkin seeds
Brazil nuts are high in the antioxidant selenium and pumpkin seeds are very high in zinc. Both nutrients support your body at a cellular level, strengthening your immune system. Try adding to your morning shake.
There is a reason why we were all forced to eat these green florets as kids. A powerhouse vegetable that is highly nutrient-dense, broccoli is rich in chlorophyll and contains other beneficial nutrients like vitamin C, carotenoids and phytonutrients. Simply steam for two minutes then pan-fry in chilli and garlic for added zing.
3. Garlic and ginger
Ginger and garlic are an awesome immune function double team. They contain compounds such as allicin and gingerols that have immuno-stimulatory effects, antimicrobial properties and help lower inflammation . All of which helps support a healthy immune system. Just add to a stir-fry.
4. Green Tea
Rich in antioxidant polyphenols and catechins, green tea has been used as a health-promoting beverage for centuries. Catechins have antimicrobial properties and the antioxidants may help reduce the effects of stress, in addition to supporting immune function. Try to drink 2-3 cups per day – or brew some and then let it cool and add to smoothies.
5. Shitake Mushrooms
Not only are shitake mushrooms high in amino acids, rich in B vitamins and are a good source of vitamin D, they also contain beta glucans and polysaccharides which naturally improve the function of your T-cells (immune system cells). Whack them in a stir-fry or make some chicken and mushroom soup.
Now this really is a proper superfood. This spice delivers a wealth of phytonutrients and has been shown to generate numerous benefits for overall health and performance. The active compound in turmeric is curcumin. This warrior can reduce oxidative stress, stimulate the T cells responsible for immune health, and aid in cellular protection. Make sure you take it with black pepper and a fat source to increase absorption. A perfect recipe would be turmeric-roasted salmon.
Liam Holmes (MSc) has worked as a nutrition coach in elite sport for over 10 years, coaching CrossFit athletes, Premiership footballers, cyclists and triathletes with his personalised approach to nutrition.
The osteopath clinic at Third Space Medical is focussing on immune health this month as we head into winter. To book an appointment with Liam please call Third Space Medical on 020 7940 4937