We are currently in the midst of winter here in Australia which means we are officially in cold and flu season on top of fighting the Covid-19 pandemic.
So what are some ways to ensure your immune system stays in peak condition in order to avoid getting sick once you come out of isolation?
My number one immune boosting tip would have to be obtaining sufficient levels of vitamin D3 from sunlight. This is a lot harder than you would think when you consider how much time you spend indoors, working from home or inside an office all day. We also tend to cover up with clothing or sunscreen when we do go outside so our natural levels of vitamin D3 drop.
The Australian Bureau of Statistics estimates that one in four Australian adults are vitamin D deficient (<50nmol/L), with 7% having a moderate or severe deficiency (<29 nmol/L).
This statistic makes it one of the most common nutrient deficiencies in the world. Dr J. Tolentino states that the latest research shows, vitamin D3 plays an important role in immune function, and a deficiency in it is shown to increase your susceptibility to infection. Some studies have shown that vitamin D deficiency is even associated with a higher susceptibility of self-reported upper respiratory tract infections, tuberculosis, and influenza.
You can obtain some vitamin D3 from food sources such as fatty fish and egg yolks, but for optimum levels you may need to supplement in capsule form. Vitamin A is also an important immune boosting nutrient, particularly for the lungs, so you will obtain twice the benefit if you regularly consume fatty fish such as vitamin A and D3 rich Codfish.
Vegetables can be a powerhouse of immune boosting phytochemicals that have numerous health benefits, one of which is warding off infections. Some examples of different flavonoids would be allicin found in garlic, the flavonoid quercetin in onions, gingerol in ginger and curcuminoids that are found within turmeric.
Whilst still in isolation or over the weekend, why don’t you take this time to re-familiarise yourself with your stock pot or slow cooker and eat your way to good health with this:-
Immune Boosting Soup Recipe
· 1 oz (30 g) dried shitake, porcini and oyster mushrooms.
· 1 tbsp Olive oil
· 1 med white or yellow onion, finely chopped
· 2 inch knob of ginger, peeled and grated
· 1 inch knob of fresh turmeric, peeled and grated
· 1 whole garlic bulb, peeled and crushed
· 4 cups vegetable broth
· Juice of 1 lemon
· Salt and Pepper to taste
1. Soak the dried mushroom in 1 cup of boiling water for 10 minutes.
2. Put Ingredients B in a large pot, fry until soft and aromatic over medium heat.
3. Add in the rehydrated mushrooms and their water.
4. Add Ingredients C.
5. Cook on a low heat for at least 2 hours. Or you can transfer everything into a slow cooker and simmer for longer to ensure you draw all the goodness out of the ingredients - Enjoy!
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Natasha Zervaas N.P.
Picture sourced from www.unsplash.com
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