In light of the recent epidemic which is CoronaVirus, and in preparation of perhaps what may come our way, I wanted to put together a list based on what I know helps to build our immune system.
One thing to realise is that food plays a major role in feeding our body the right nutrients and staying healthy so it is important to eat right.
- Fluids: Keeping the body hydrated is important. It is recommended to drink at least 2 litres of still room temperature water throughout the day. In addition, drinking herbal tea is good. My recommendation for immunity is to add a couple tablespoons of fresh lemon juice to a glass of warm water and to further benefit the body and inflammation to add 1/2 inch fresh grated ginger and 1/2 inch fresh grated turmeric (1/4 tsp turmeric powder is fine) to the warm water. You can add 1 tsp of maple syrup if desired.
2. Miso: Whenever I feel low and on the verge of experiencing a cold/flu like symptoms, I turn to my trusted Miso. Miso is a 100% nutritious. Miso is made from different grains (brown rice, beans, peas etc) and is fermented which helps with the digestive system as well as our immune system.
Miso contains a good amount of vitamins, minerals and beneficial plant compounds. One ounce (28 grams) generally provides you with
- Calories: 56
- Carbs: 7 grams
- Fat: 2 grams
- Protein: 3 grams
- Sodium: 43% of the RDI
- Manganese: 12% of the RDI
- Vitamin K: 10% of the RDI
- Copper: 6% of the RDI
- Zinc: 5% of the RDI
It also contains smaller amounts of B vitamins, calcium, iron, magnesium, selenium and phosphorus. Interestingly, the varieties made from soybeans are considered to be sources of complete protein because they contain all the essential amino acids needed. The fermentation process used to produce miso makes it easier for the body to absorb the nutrients it contains. The fermentation process also promotes the growth of probiotics, beneficial bacteria that provide a wide array of health benefits.
The probiotics in miso may help strengthen your gut flora, in turn boosting immunity and reducing the growth of harmful bacteria. Moreover, a probiotic-rich diet may help reduce your risk of being sick and help you recover faster from infections, such as the common cold. Word of warning though: miso is high in salt so ensure you balance your salt intake throughout the day. Check out my delicious recipe here: https://virtuosofoods.com/2020/03/nutritious-miso-soup/
3. Dark Green Leafy Veg: Vegetables such as spinach, broccoli, celery, sprouts etc. are high in minerals like calcium and zinc, which means they are as good for immunity-boosting as they are for our bones. In addition peppers and tomatoes are also great and high in Vitamin C which boosts the immune function.
4. Vitamin B12: As vegans, we need to ensure that we have the right intake of B12. You can read more on this here: https://virtuosofoods.com/2020/01/vegan-essentials-nutrient-rich-foods/
5. Juicing: This is a great way to get healthy vegetables into your system quickly. You can find some recipes of the juices I make here: https://virtuosofoods.com/category/recipes/drinks/. However, more recently, I have got into juicing celery.
Celery is a good source of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants and contains high levels of vitamin K and good amounts of vitamin A, vitamins B-2 and B-6, and vitamin C. Research shows that compounds found in celery contain powerful antimicrobial properties that fight infections and naturally boost immunity. Celery juice reduces uric acid and stimulates urine production, especially useful in fighting bacterial infections within the digestive tract and reproductive organs, helping prevent UTIs, bladder and kidney disorders.
HOW: Juice 1/2 bunch of organic celery first thing in the morning to reap its benefits.
6. Citrus Fruits: Most people turn to vitamin C after they’ve caught a cold. That’s because it helps build up your immune system. Vitamin C is thought to increase the production of white blood cells. These are key to fighting infections.
Popular citrus fruits include:
Because your body doesn’t produce or store it, you need daily vitamin C for continued health. Almost all citrus fruits are high in vitamin C. With such a variety to choose from, it’s easy to add a squeeze of this vitamin to any meal (juices, salad dressing, sauces, soups, healthy snacks, herbal tea).