Nourishing your body with vitamin and mineral rich foods is the best way to keep your immune system strong and your body functioning at optimal levels. There’s no doubt most of us have heard of ‘super-foods’ and have been told to eat them regularly but without the knowledge of knowing what these foods are and what they actually do for our body, we often forget to include them into our nutrition on a regular basis.
Here are 12 super-foods explained to help you boost your immune system and give you the knowledge and power to take control of your health.
Garlic is one of your immune systems best friends. Studies have shown that regular consumption of garlic extract can have a positive effect on blood pressure and high cholesterol levels. Plus, garlic is full of antioxidants which strengthen your body’s natural defences.
Vitamins- B1, B6, C
Minerals- Selenium, Manganese, Cacium, Copper, Potassium, Phosphorus, Iron
Benefits- Lower blood pressure, lower cholesterol levels, strengthens immune system
This spicy ginger root is often used in drinks, soups and Asian dishes and can also be taken in shot form (30ml) for those brave enough to give it a go. It helps with nausea, reduces inflammation and can also relieve pain.
Vitamins- B3, B6, Folate, C
Minerals- Iron, Potassium, Magnesium, Zinc, Phosphorus
Benefits- Reduce inflammation, pain relief, reduce cancer risks, relieves menstrual cramps, fight off cold symptoms
One of the most nutrient dense foods on the planet, Kale is loaded with antioxidants like quercetin and kaempferol which have powerful heart-protective, blood pressure-lowering, anti-inflammatory, anti-viral, antidepressant and anti-cancer effects just to name a few. It’s one of the worlds best sources of Vitamin K which is critical for blood clotting prevention and includes many other vitamins and minerals such as magnesium, potassium, vitamin A and C.
Kale goes well in fresh salads and can also be included in tasty green smoothies.
Vitamins- A, C, K, B6, B12, Folate, Riboflavin, Thiamin
Minerals- Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Potassium, Sodium, Zinc, Copper, Manganese, Selenium
Benefits- Lower blood pressure, anti- inflammatory, antidepressant, reduce cancer risks, lower risk of heart disease, protects the eyes
These tasty little guys have some incredible benefits to them and are ideal to include in smoothies, breakfast bowls and eaten as snacks. Goji berries have high amounts of zeaxanthin - an antioxidant that is proven to help vision and fight off age related eye diseases. They also balance our insulin and blood sugar levels as well as promote healthy skin due to the high amounts of beta-carotene. Goji Berries are also known to help with sleep, depression, anxiety and immune system function.
Vitamins- A, C
Minerals- Zinc, Iron
Benefits- Boost immune system, assist weight loss, protects eyes and skin, maintain blood sugar, increase testosterone
Considered one of the top super-foods on the planet, blueberries have extraordinary health benefits for people of all ages. One of the main reasons is due to a powerful antioxidant called anthocyanin. This is what gives a blueberry it’s colour but also has the capacity to lower blood pressure, improve vision, reduce cancer cells from multiplying, prevent diabetes and reduce the risk of tumours. Blueberries also contain huge amounts of minerals which maintains healthy bones, lowers blood pressure, improves mental health and improves digestive system.
They can be added to fruit plates, breakfast bowls or blended as a smoothie.
Vitamins- C, K
Benefits- Brain health, control blood sugar, reduce blood clotting, improve digestive system, lower blood pressure
As an ideal source of Vitamin C, one lemon can provide up to 50% of your daily intake and along with antioxidants, help remove free radicals that can damage cells from the body.
Vitamin C can help maintain a healthy complexion, increase iron absorption, boost your immune system and even help with weight loss.
One of the easier super-foods to include into your nutrition, lemon can be squeezed over meals, used in drinks, deserts, added to baked foods or simply squeezed into a glass of water.
Vitamins- B6, C
Benefits- Reduce heart disease risk, reduce risk of kidney stones, assist weight loss, reduce risk of breast cancer
As well as being a good source of protein and fibre, broccoli also contains many vitamins and minerals helping fight off disease and keeping our bones strong and healthy. Best served in stir fry’s and side dishes, it's a super-food that’s worth incorporating into our nutrition on a regular basis!
Vitamins- A, B, C, E, K
Minerals- Iron, Potassium, Calcium, Selenium, Magnesium
Benefits- Can help prevent cancer, keep eyes healthy, build strong bones, prevent blood clotting, reduce risk of heart disease
Oranges are a lesser known super-food but have many benefits for our bodies. Packing a punch of fibre, oranges help stabilise our blood sugar levels and give us huge amounts of Vitamin C ( 1 orange = 100% RDI ). The antioxidants also contribute to helping prevent heart disease.
Vitamins- C, Thiamine, Folate
Benefits- Reduce risk of heart disease, prevent kidney stones, increase absorption of iron
This super spice has been used for medicinal purposes by humans dating back thousands of years. It’s used in many cultures across the World on a daily basis and ranked #1 out of the 26 most popular spices in terms of protective antioxidant properties. It’s distinctly sweet, warm taste makes it an ideal additive to dishes and drinks.
Minerals- Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Potassium
Benefits- Help prevent Alzheimer disease, help prevent multiple sclerosis, lower effects of high fat meals, treat & heal chronic wounds, reduce risk of cardiovascular disease
Often referred to as the golden spice, turmeric is a tall plant that grows in Asia and Central America and if often used in capsules, teas and extracts.
Minerals- Manganese, Iron, Potassium, Phosphorus
Benefits- Treat Inflammation, cancer prevention, treat arthritis and neurological diseases
Considered one of the healthiest beverages in the world, green tea is loaded with nutrients and antioxidants that gives the human body some incredible positive effects. As well as the vitamins and minerals, green tea also contains L-theanine which has been proven to lead the human body to a state of mental and physical relaxation.
Vitamins- A, B, C, D, E
Minerals- Manganese, Zinc, Chromium, Potassium, Calcium, Phosphorus
Benefits- Fat burning, anti- ageing, lowers risk of type 2 diabetes, improves brain function, reduces cancer risks, relaxing, detoxifies the body, tooth decay prevention
If you’re wanting to stay looking young, fit and healthy then papaya may be the fruit for you!
With its rich source of antioxidants, phytonutrients and flavonoids, papaya prevents your cells from undergoing free radical damage keeping your skin glowing and reducing stress along the way.
Vitamins- A, C, Folate, E
Minerals- Magnesium, Copper, Potassium
Benefits- Lowers cholesterol, reduces stress, helps prevent cancer, prevents signs of ageing, eases menstrual pain, improves digestion, great for eyes, protects against arthritis, boosts immunity
These 12 super-foods are a great addition to your daily nutrition but will not completely protect you from illness and disease. Eating consistently healthy along with regular exercise is the best possible way to maintain a healthy lifestyle.
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