Support immunity with simple pantry staples and help fight off winter ills and chills.
A well-stocked pantry offers more than healthy dinner options, it provides homemade cold remedies too. Add nutrient dense foods to your diet to support immunity and prevent colds. If you do feel a tickle in your throat or a cold coming on, get onto it quickly with one of these simple remedies.
1. Vitamin C is hailed as a super-vitamin and vital for a healthy functioning immune system. Therefore, it deserves to be on the top of the list. It’s best to get Vitamin C from raw, fresh food so include plenty of winter fruits such as kiwifruit, lemons, mandarins and oranges in your diet. Although, don’t forget to eat your organic broccoli, as one cup of florets contains 81mg of Vitamin C!
2. As a preventative measure, regularly consume foods that fight inflammation. Choose plant-based options such as extra virgin olive oil, which has antioxidants, vitamin E and phenolic compounds. Hemp oil is high in zinc and omegas, while chia seeds and flaxseeds also offer omegas. Eat your greens, they are naturally alkalising and high in anti-inflammatory antioxidants, as are berries and pomegranates.
3. Apple cider vinegar (ACV) has been used for centuries as a natural remedy due to its anti-fungal, antibacterial and antiviral properties. Made from fermenting apples, ACV contains probiotics, which support the immune system. ACV can help to soothe a sore throat, kick a cough, aid in a clear respiratory system, as well as, improve digestion, speed up metabolism and detoxify the body. Sip on a cup of warm water with a teaspoon of ACV and a tsp of raw honey. Make a throat gargle with equal amounts of warm water and ACV to help soothe a sore throat and help with congestion.
5. Snack on the humble banana. Bananas are high in antioxidants, have a good amount of fibre including prebiotics, are known for their potassium and also have immune supporting B-vitamins, magnesium, manganese, vitamin C and copper.
6. Almonds are a great source of Vitamin E, which supports the immune system. Be sure to eat almonds with the skins on, as this is where the real immunity-boosting benefits are. Almonds are also a great plant-based source of protein, fibre and antioxidants. Snack on almonds between meals or add almond butter to your breakfast.
7. Soothe your throat and increase your fluid intake with a hot cuppa. Have an herbal tea with a spoonful of honey or a squeeze of lemon. We love this green tea, it’s high in polyphenols, an antioxidant compound and amino acid L-theanine, both which support the immune system.
Zinc is a vital nutrient to keep the immune system running at its best.
8. Who would have guessed that a cup of chickpeas gives you 25% of your days zinc requirements? Zinc is a vital nutrient to keep the immune system running at its best. Snack on some roasted chickpeas, dip into hummus or boost your curry with chickpeas. Does this mean these chickpea brownies support immunity? Yum!
9. Ayurveda practice regularly includes a variety of spices into the diet to support immunity, such as ginger, cinnamon and turmeric. The main active ingredient in turmeric is curcumin, an anti-inflammatory that is best taken with black pepper to optimise utilisation. Include these spices in cooking, make a drink with almond milk or add to your morning oats for a nourishing golden porridge. We love this recipe.
10. Last but not least, remember to eat plenty of seasonal fruits and vegetables, as they are rich in vitamin C and zinc. Find out more about the health benefits of eating seasonally here.
Using natural, simple remedies from your pantry can be effective, inexpensive and a great way to keep the family healthy and happy. Sometimes it can be beneficial to use supplements in addition to a healthy diet. Consult a qualified naturopath or health practitioner to find out what’s best for you. Find a great range of supplements here.