Foods that Fuel a Healthy Body and a Strong Immune System

Words: Crush

We all know that we should eat well if we want to be healthy, but sometimes it can feel a little overwhelming. What should we eat and how much? If you’re trying to look after yourself and feel a little more youthful in the process, then this list is for you. We choose some of the best youth-encouraging foods that help build a strong immune system.

Avocados

Not that we need any more encouragement to eat avocados, they are actually key to keeping your skin looking healthy and youthful. They fight off free-radicals, owing to the fact that their antioxidant qualities can penetrate deep into our cell structure. From there, they are able to activate the cell’s energy production, allowing them to function properly even while being constantly attacked by free radicals.

This means that your cells are able to keep repairing themselves, keeping you feeling and looking young!

Be careful though about how much avo you eat, the recommended daily allowance is about ⅕ of the whole fruit, which is about 3 or 4 slices.

Check out some of our favourite avocado recipes.

Make these Baked Avocados with Salmon

Blueberries

Possibly one of the original superfoods, blueberries are high in antioxidants which protect cells from damage and their flavonoids have been proven to increase long- and short-term memory loss. Simply add a handful to your morning breakfast to keep your brain functioning healthily. Learn more about berries and get some great berry recipes.

Make this Blueberry Quinoa Parfait

Broccoli

Broccoli is a powerhouse veggie, it’s high in fibre, very high in vitamin C and has potassium, B6 and vitamin A. It also has cancer-fighting qualities, particularly sulforaphane, a potent compound that boosts the body’s protective enzymes and flushes out cancer-causing chemicals. Its high levels of phytonutrients also decrease inflammation. Eat broccoli wherever and whenever you can.

Make this Broccoli Slaw recipe.

Carrots

We’ve always known carrots to help with eyesight but they’re actually capable of so much more. Carrots are packed full of carotenoids, a fat-soluble pigment, which is associated with the reduction of a wide range of cancers.

They also contain anti-inflammatory properties, which can ease conditions like rheumatoid arthritis. They’re also really good for your skin and can slow down the effects of ageing thanks to their increased levels of beta-carotene, which repairs cell damage.

Enjoy this Carrot Penne Pasta recipe.

Dark Chocolate

Provided you’re buying high-quality chocolate with a cocoa percentage of at least 70% then this sweet treat can actually be quite good for you. Among other minerals, it contains high levels of fibre, iron, magnesium, copper and manganese.

It’s also packed with antioxidants, even more so than blueberries, and has shown signs that the flavanols found in cocoa can improve blood flow to the skin and protect it against sun-induced damage.

Make this fab, guilt-free Skinny Dark Choc Avo Mousse.

Garlic

Garlic is known to ward off vampires as well as nitrosamines, which are carcinogens formed in the stomach when you consume nitrate and can lead to colon cancer. And, as oxidation from free-radicals can contribute to ageing, the antioxidants found in garlic will fight this oxidation, helping to keep you looking younger.

Make this Roasted Garlic recipe.

Pomegranates

Aside from being a bit of fiddle to prepare, pomegranates are packed with antioxidants to keep your cells regenerating. There has also been preliminary evidence that suggests pomegranates may help prohibit cancer cells, particularly prostate cancer.

Add a handful or two of pomegranate ‘jewels’ (arils) to your morning breakfast, or blend the seeds and strain through a fine sieve to make your own healthy juice.

Try this recipe for Lamb Chops with Pomegranate Relish.

Salmon

This delicious oily fish is packed with Omega-3s, which have been proven to have a profound effect on not only preventing cancer but killing tumours too. Eating a portion of salmon a week will be enough to fill your body with these healthy fatty acids.

And it’s these acids that also keep you looking youthful, as they reduce inflammation on the cellular level that causes redness, wrinkles, and loss of firmness.  It also contains the much heralded antioxidant astaxanthin, which protects the cells from the most damaging forms of free radicals and improves skin elasticity and reduces the appearance of fine lines.

Check out this round up of delish salmon recipes.

strong immune system

Strawberries

If you’re looking to reset the clock on your memory, then strawberries are what you need. Anthocyanins, the pigments that give the berries their red colour, are known to improve short term memory.

The tasty fruit is also linked to prevent oesophagal cancer, so make sure you snack on strawberries when they’re in season and eat them frozen or dried when out of season.

Try this Strawberry, Melon and Risoni Salad recipe.

strong immune system
strong immune system

Sweet Potatoes

Hearty sweet potatoes are already an easy veggie to incorporate into your diet, but did you know that they are an excellent source of vitamin C. The vitamin not only keeps your immune strong but also it also plays an important role in bone and tooth health, digestion, and blood cell formation.

It helps wounds to heal and produces collagen to maintain skin’s youthful elasticity. It even appears to help protect our body against toxins that may be linked to cancer.

Try these Sweet Potato Wedges.

strong immune system

Tomatoes

Tomatoes are full of lycopene, a natural antioxidant that works effectively to slow the growth of cancerous cells. Eating more tomatoes will reduce your chances of developing prostate, colorectal and stomach cancer. Cooked tomatoes produce more lycopene, so be sure to eat lots of tomato-based sauces and soups.

We love this Tomato and Almond Soup.

strong immune system

Turmeric

Turmeric really became the coolest health food in recent years, and with good reason. The yellow root is tasty and good for you, and a number of studies on cancer cells have shown that curcumin, the naturally-occurring chemical that gives turmeric its yellow colour, does have anticancer effects. It seems to be able to kill cancer cells and prevent more from growing.

It has the best effects on breast, bowel and stomach cancers as well as skin cancer cells. The best way to ensure that you’re taking in enough of it is to make yourself a turmeric ‘tea’.

We love this recipe for a Turmeric Golden Milk Fat Shake

strong immune system

Yoghurt

We are spoilt for choice when it comes to yoghurt, you’ve got your traditional yoghurt that is made with milk, which comes in regular, low-fat or no-fat varieties. Then for those who prefer non-dairy yoghurts your almond, soy and coconut yogurt options. Next up, we got Greek yoghurt that is thicker than traditional yogurt and is probably known to be the ‘best’ type of yoghurt. It has nearly twice as much protein than traditional yoghurt and has less sugar and fewer carbohydrates. Last but not least, there’s kefir. This fermented drink is high in protein, calcium, probiotics, vitamin D and other nutrients.

When it comes to yoghurt, most of us know that it contains probiotics, which are so good for your gut health and can help maintain a healthy digestive tract. It all starts with your gut, it helps protect and regulate your immune system, which is very important to remaining healthy. If you’re stressed or feel anxious, then the vitamin D in yoghurt can help. Yoghurt is a great source of Vitamin D and low Vitamin D levels have been associated with feeling anxious or lethargic.

Check out this delicious and healthy Carrot, Banana and Yoghurt Smoothie here.  

strong immune system
strong immune system

Ginger

This root plant is a strong antioxidant, it naturally helps boost the immune system, and can help kill the cold virus because of its active ingredient, gingerol, which aids the recovery process by speeding it up. Ginger also detoxes the system by relaxing the intestinal tract, so if your stomach is in knots from flu and anxiety orif you have an upset tummy, ginger may be the best thing for it.

This Rooibos Gingerbread Latte works really well to warm you up from the inside out. Infuse milk (or a vegan alternative with heaps of ginger and spices to sip on, get the recipe for this Ginger Latte here

strong immune system
strong immune system

Onions

Onions have been shown to have antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral properties, not to mention they are loaded with vitamins and minerals. Onions are high in vitamin C, which helps with regulation of immune health and iron absorption. Onions are also a powerful antioxidant, especially red onions. Red onions are known to be rich in anthocyanins, which are powerful plant pigments that may protect against diabetes, certain cancers and heart disease. Onions can also help boost your digestive and help boost a strong immune systems and improve your gut health because of its rich source of prebiotics (different to probiotics).

Why not try this delicious irresistibly creamy onion and potato soup, and get that strong immune system we all need!

strong immune system
strong immune system

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