Support Your Immune System With Plant Power
by Aly Findlay
Your immune system is incredible. When in contact with something that could cause a problem, it immediately jumps into action, providing a defence against nasty infections and has an amazing way of functioning to keep track of what’s in your body.
A healthy immune system starts with what you put into your body. Plant foods are mostly anti-inflammatory, so eating lots of fruits and vegetables, as well as whole grains, is vital. Likewise, there are lots of studies that have found links between an impaired immune system and issues like obesity, so a plant-based diet can also help by ensuring you maintain a healthy weight.
Here are some of our top tips for adding those all-important foods to your diet to help support your immune system.
Eat the rainbow
The more (natural) colours in your diet, the wider the range of different vitamins and minerals you will be consuming.
Foods high in vitamins A, C and E – otherwise known as antioxidant vitamins – should be a big part of your diet. They help protect against harmful and toxic molecules in the body (preventing illness and infection).
Vitamin A helps your body regulate its immune system and can protect against infection.
Foods rich in Vitamin A:
- sweet potatoes
- red bell peppers
Vitamin C helps protect your body from infection, and can even stimulate the development of antibodies to fight off disease.
Foods rich in Vitamin C:
Vitamin E is an antioxidant and helps to offset toxins in the body. Vitamin E has even been said to help protect the body against several infectious diseases.
Foods rich in Vitamin E:
- peanut butter
Add herbs to your regime
As well as all the tasty fruit and veg above, there are a number of herbs that can also help support a healthy immune system.
- Cayenne is a source of the ACE vitamins, and a nice easy one to add into your diet
- Oregano contains antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties and tastes GREAT on pizza
- Mushrooms contain selenium, which is an antioxidant
- Elderberry has been shown to help shorten and relieve symptoms of colds and flu
Extra tips for supporting your immune system
- Decrease your intake of processed foods, sugar and alcohol
- Exercise regularly, getting lots of fresh air
- Keep your stress levels as low as possible
- Ensure you’re getting enough sleep
- Wash your hands frequently and thoroughly
- Stay up to date with recommended vaccinations
By Aly Findlay
Aly is our go-to nutrition hero as she studied Human Nutrition at uni (makes sense, right?). She’s also always on hand to help our customers, and provide our team with coffee. Lots and lots of coffee.