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Eating for Immunity



Eating for Immunity

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Written by: Hannah
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Eating for Immunity
This is the time of year when coughs and colds are everywhere but you can take some steps to help ward them off. Here are a few suggestions to help keep your immune system working well and make sure your fighting fit
• Eat your 5 a day- fruit and vegetables contain lots of vitamin C which help fight infection. Make sure you eat different coloured fruits and vegetables to get the most amount of vitamins e.g. carrots, broccoli, red pepper.
• Have a glass of fruit juice with your breakfast. It’s a quick and easy way to get some vitamins into you.
• Eat a wide range of foods to make sure you are not deficient in any vitamins and minerals as many play a role in immunity. Protein and fat are also important in the immune system.
• Stay well hydrated by drinking lots of water as it helps flush infection out of your body.
• Get plenty of rest. Late nights and not enough sleep put a strain on your immune system. Aim for between 7 and 8 hours a night to give your body time to recover
• Cut down on the alcohol. It puts an extra strain on your body and can make you feel worse than you already do.
Vitamin E is also important for a healthy immune system. It is found in a range of foods but some which are easy to incorporate into your diet are:
• Nuts and seeds, in particular sunflower seeds
• Olive oil (use for cooking)
• Red peppers
Here is a suggested meal plan for a day. It contains a range of foods and lots of fruit and vegetables to keep you healthy
Breakfast: Porridge with chopped banana or frozen berries, glass of fresh fruit juice or smoothie
Snack: Apple , orange, pear or dried fruit and nuts, small piece of cheese
Lunch: Chicken wraps with salad, piece of fruit, yoghurt
Snack: handful of unsalted nuts (if you didn’t have any earlier) such as almonds, brazils, cashews, walnuts, seeds or a piece of fruit or vegetables sticks and dip such as houmous
Dinner: Salmon baked in foil with chilli and lemon juice dressing, boiled potatoes (optional) and stir fried vegetables- broccoli, carrots, peppers, baby corn, mange tout. Use olive oil for stir frying and flavour with pepper and soy sauce

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