Mother Nature is really quite amazing. Just think of all the foods that grow naturally for us and keep us well nourished, healthy and sated. There are so many fantastic fresh foods to choose from, all of which provide different nutritional benefits. Some foods aid in digestive health, others are good for building muscle. We can even opt for low GI foods to provide us with a slow release of energy.
Today though, I would like to talk about 4 of the foods you should consider as part of your diet for their immune support properties, not to mention their amazing flavours!
Garlic: This little nutritional powerhouse is an incredible immune boosting food that has been used for its medicinal properties for hundreds of years. It is a natural antibiotic and has been used to ward of colds as well as help lower cholesterol and reduce the risk of heart disease. It is reasonably versatile and quite common in a large variety of dishes or even in immune boosting juices! However it does have quite a strong flavour and smell that might not be everyone’s cup of tea. So if you are going out on a first date you might not want to be munching on it raw just beforehand.
Turmeric: This bright yellow spice has been used for its medicinal properties, its flavour and its bright colour in Indian culture for thousands of years. Turmeric contains a number of curuminoids, the most important of which is called ‘curumin’. It is this compound that acts as a powerful antioxidant and also has remarkable anti-inflammatory properties. It has been used in the Indian culture (and has spread worldwide) to help reduce the risk of cancers, heart and brain disease, age related chronic illnesses and even depression!
Chilli: Though chilli isn’t to everyone's taste, it is packed full of nutrients and offers some amazing immune boosting properties. It is the capsaicin in the chilli that contains anti-inflammatory properties. It has also been shown to help reduce cholesterol, speed up the metabolism and help break down fibrin, a substance within the body that is integral to blood clotting. This means it can help prevent high blood pressure and heart disease.
Honey: Though honey isn’t something you want too much of in your diet as most of its calories come from sugar, it is actually surprisingly medium GI. It also has both antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties that have been used in Egyptian culture for thousands of years. So having a spoonful of honey in your lemon and ginger tea actually will help ease a sore throat!