Which foods can help prevent my body going down with a virus or infection as the season changes?
Zinc is recommended as the mineral for fighting colds, if the cold symptoms are because of a virus then zinc interferes with viruses gaining full access to our cells. It also stimulates white blood cell activity, supporting the body’s natural defense system to kick in and fight the bacteria, if the cold is a bacterial infection. Zinc can be supplemented in the case of a cold or flu, but the best way is prevention by making sure you eat a diet rich in zinc. For meat and fish eaters – lamb, grass-fed beef, turkey and salmon all contain significant levels of zinc. Vegetarians can get their zinc from chickpeas, cashew nuts, pumpkin seeds, yogurt, eggs, mushrooms and cacao powder. An average adult needs 8 to 11 mg of zinc per day, so eating a broad group of these foods on a regular basis should ensure that the body is not zinc deficient. As both cacao powder and cashew nuts are good sources of zinc - it’s time to make a Cashew Milk Hot Chocolate.
Cacao is full of zinc and a daily serving of 20g has 13% of the recommended daily amount in it. It’s also high in magnesium which is good for reducing tiredness and fatigue and stimulating the spark of vibrant health.
Vitamin A enhances the body’s immunity against infections by increasing white blood cell activity. It also plays a key role in maintaining the health of your mucosal surfaces, including the inside of your nose and gastrointestinal tract. Enjoy brightly coloured root vegetables such as sweet potatoes, carrots and squash as they all contain good levels of vitamin A. Make up a batch of homemade warming soup with a dose of fresh ginger. Add garlic and onions, which both contain allicin, which is an anti-microbial and anti-bacterial compound that will help to keep infections at bay.
Turmeric is a rhizome (group of roots) that is known for its active compound curcumin. Studies show that this compound (which gives Turmeric its bright yellow colour), is a natural anti-inflammatory and antioxidant agent. When you mix Turmeric with black pepper it increases the body’s absorpsion significantly. Including these spices in your diet means you are less susceptible to colds, coughs and congestion. Enjoy a daily drink of turmeric milk (often called golden milk), and add these flavoursome spices to soups and curries.
GOLDEN MILK - made with Turmeric powder
Golden Spiced Turmeric Milk
Dark leafy greens can help fight colds as they’re a good source of Vitamin C. Add a handful of kale, spinach or a spoonful of moringa powder to your morning smoothie. Moringa is not only high in vitamin C it’s also high in the other antioxidant vitamins - E and A. These antioxidants will get stuck in and scavenge all the free radicals and prevent oxidization of the cells, thereby preventing damage to the body. Eating a diet rich in antioxidants, including vitamin C, goes a long way towards preventing catching a cold or flu. Why not juice up some fruit and vegetables that are good sources of vitamin C, such as; guava, black currant, red pepper, kiwi, green peppers, orange, strawberries, papaya, broccoli, kale, parsley, pineapple, brussel sprouts, grapefruit, peas, cauliflower and mango. Whilst they are best eaten raw, they can be juiced or lightly steamed to prevent destruction of the vitamin content.
Superfoods like moringa, spirulina, chlorella, barleygrass and wheatgrass are all concentrated ways of consuming vitamins and minerals - including these superfoods in your daily diet, especially when the seasons change, can prevent the body being vulnerable to the common cold or flu. Moringa has such a broad nutritional profile and includes vitamins B1, B2 and B6 as well as a host of minerals. Both chlorella and spirulina, which are edible blue-green algae’s, have a complex vitamin and mineral profile and are 60% protein. Barleygrass and wheatgrass are the young shoots of the wheat and barley plants. They are harvested, freeze dried and powered when the plant is bursting with enzymes and packed with vitamins and minerals, including anti-oxidants. Why not try out our The Ultimate Kick Ass Smoothie recipe and mean business when it comes to busting the bugs this season.
We have also formulated our Supergreens powder which is blend of these five supergreens in one easy pack. A daily scoop of supergreens is going to deliver 19 macronutrients including vitamin C, E and A, protein and dietary fibre. So even when you don’t have the time to prepare the food that your body really needs to defend against colds and flu, you can supplement your diet with a scoop of Supergreens in a morning smoothie and go a long way towards preventing your body going down with an infection or virus.