March 27, 2020, by Kate Rothery
Easy ways to boost your immune system with micro nutrients
With food shopping now restricted to ensure vital social distancing guidelines are met, it’s important to make the most of the ingredients you have in stock. Cooking healthy, nutritious meals will keep you feeling good and can be a fun thing to do together as a household too.
As part of our new blog series for our online Health and Wellbeing Home, we’ve taken a look at some simple micro nutrients found in your cupboards or the freezer. These can be easily added into your diet to give you a healthy boost.
Micro nutrients support our metabolism and daily reactions. Many can be easily stored as they are fat soluble, so they are perfect to add into your weekly menu.
B6 is vital for over a hundred reactions to create disease-fighting protein. Many foods contain Vitamin B6 with wheat nuts and banana boasting the highest content. Why not start your day with an immune-boosting breakfast – Weetabix with honey, Greek yogurt, sliced banana and hazel nuts?
Your body can’t store Vitamin C, so it’s important to consume your quota every day. It’s found commonly in citrus fruits; fresh orange juice is a great source. However, there’s plenty of other fruits and vegetables high in Vitamin C such as broccoli. We love broccoli parmesan pasta for example! Every cup of broccoli contains 132 milligrams of vitamin C. This will also help you absorb iron which is vital in transporting oxygen around the body.
Vitamin E acts as an antioxidant and helps neutralise oxygen molecules, which can potentially harm cells. Long-life products like almonds contain Vitamin E. Be creative – for example, mix almonds in a food processor to create crumb for a chicken breast – dip the chicken in egg, flour and then the crumb to give it a tasty and nutritious coating!
Several reactions in the body use magnesium including blood pressure regulation, protein creation and the nervous system. We all know spinach contains iron, but it also contains magnesium-creating proteins which fight viruses and disease. You could work fresh or frozen spinach into a morning omelette or add leaves to your lunchtime salad for a quick boost.
Zinc boosts your immune system in many ways, but predominantly it activates the breakdown of proteins in viruses, so they are less able to spread. Beans are rich in zinc, so a slow cooked three bean chilli would be ideal for example. The benefit of working from home is that you can easily keep an eye on it during the day!
Our online Health and Wellbeing Home is full of resources on how to stay healthy and active at home.