Immune health and Immune support for us big kids and your little ones too…
The food we eat is one of the most important tools we have to help prevent illness and disease.
Your immune system protects your body by defending against viruses and bacteria which can cause inflammation in the body, resulting in illness and disease. Certainly, a healthy body begins with a healthy immune system!
Fruit and especially vegetables have many properties to heal, nourish and boost your immune system. ALL fruit and vegetables support a healthy digestive and immune system; however, some are more immune supportive than others. So here are my top 10 fruits and vegetables to help supercharge your immune system...
1 – Leafy Greens:
Their high level of nutrients coupled with many potent, immune enhancing Phyto (plant) chemicals, results in much – needed virus protection at this time, not just for protecting against Coronavirus but also heading into our winter where we are more susceptible to colds and flu.
There’s a reason why leafy greens are in season during winter! I firmly believe that nature provides what we need to survive, thrive and be healthy. And she gives us leafy greens in winter. Green vegetables have more nutrients per calorie than any other food. Greens are as nourishing as it gets!
Sauté some spinach leaves or kale (stems removed) in Ghee (this is clarified butter with many nutrients, available from Source Bulk foods in Dural), coconut oil or organic grass-fed butter with fresh garlic, sea salt and pepper. For extra flavour and nutrition squeeze lemon juice over too.
Add baby spinach leaves into a smoothie, or even kale (stems removed). I add these to my daughter’s smoothies all the time. The flavour disappears behind strong flavours like berries and a plant-based vanilla or chocolate protein powder. I know a great one I would be happy to send you a sample of.
Always add healthy fats to your greens (ghee, coconut oil, olive oil or grass-fed butter) as it greatly assists the absorption of nutrients from veggies and salads. Plus, they make them so much more appetising.
Kids and Greens!
What is it with kids and greens? Most refuse to eat them. So, if greens are off the cards for your kids there are a few things you can do to bring them around….
• Keep eating them yourself! It is essential to always demonstrate healthy eating.
• Always offer them. There isn’t a dinner I don’t serve up that does not have greens added in some way. You can also put them in a self-serve bowl and encourage them to serve up some themselves (children love to participate as they feel independent this way). If they are younger, then continue to place it on their plates every day.
• Get them involved preparing greens. Washing or spinning the leaves in a salad spinner is fun!
• Grow your greens. Encourage them to water them and watch them grow. Then pick them and prepare them for meals.
• Add them to curries, casseroles, stir fry’s and soups. I cut up zucchini and other veggies and cook them in with a pasta sauce. Be sure to add them last in the cooking stage as prolonged cooking destroys many of the nutrients in greens so mixing in last minute is the way to go. Chop them finely if you must ‘hide them’.
• Make a pesto. They can dip carrots, celery, cucumber or crackers into the pesto.
• Don’t give up!