While it is never a good idea to stoke any fear or create unnecessary panic, it is always a good idea to be more conscious of your personal health. It isn’t a case of being selfish either, but a matter of keeping everyone around you healthy too.
The fundamentals to a healthy body come down to a strong and efficient immune system – the body’s vast and intelligent network of cells, tissues and organs that coordinate your body’s defences against any threats to your health.
A healthy and balanced diet is essential for the correct function of every part of our organism, including the immune system. Additionally, some dietary factors have been found to have immune-regulatory properties, including micronutrients such as vitamin C, vitamin D, zinc, or macronutrients such as omega fatty acids.
Let’s look just some of the essential nutrients needed for the immune system to stay strong and some of the foods where it can be found, to add to your shopping list:
Omega 3 and 6 fatty Acids: B-well canola oil and B-well mayonnaise, eggs, salmon, walnuts, hemp seed, linseed;
Probiotics: Natural yogurt, kombucha, kefir, sauerkraut, miso;
Protein: Meat, chicken, fish, shellfish, lentils, peas;
Water: Teas, broths, soups, fruit;
Vitamin C: Citrus fruits, berries, red/orange bell peppers, brassica greens (Brussels sprouts, kale, spinach);
Vitamin A: Sweet potato, carrots, broccoli;
Vitamin D: Orange juice, milk, cereals, mushrooms, cheese;
Vitamin E: Almonds, hazelnuts, peanut butter;
B Vitamins: Fatty fish, avocado, nuts, sweet potato, chicken, leafy greens, oats;
Natural antivirals/antibiotic: Garlic, ginger, turmeric, pomegranate;
Natural adaptogens: Shiitake mushrooms, ashwagandha, rosemary.
In addition to practising good hygiene, common sense and getting enough sleep, it is highly recommended to stock up on these immune-boosting foods.
Oh, Sweet Darling Lentil Curry
The humble red lentil curry, or masoor dhal – commonly known in India, has found its way into the hearts of many. A dish this simple, with incredible flavour and an array of spice infusions, makes a statement with its power pack of zinc, selenium and protein from the lentils, the creaminess and nutrition of butternut squash and of course, all the Ayurvedic alchemy from the spices, all to boost immunity.
Red lentils – Rich in protein, vitamins B1, B3, B6, iron, zinc, selenium, phosphorus Butternut squash – Vitamins A, C, E and B, magnesium, zinc
Mustard Seeds- High in selenium, omega 3, iron, zinc.
Serves: 6 – Time: 1 h 20 min – Level: Easy-ish
What you’ll need:
- 2 Tbsp B-well canola oil
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 1 tsp ground coriander
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp ground turmeric
- ½ tsp cayenne pepper
- 1 red chilli, whole
- 2 tsp mustard seeds
- 8 curry leaves
- 1 tsp salt, or to taste
- 400g butternut squash, peeled and cut into 2cm cubes
- 400g can chopped tomato
- 300g red lentil, rinsed well
- 1 handful fresh coriander, roughly chopped
- naan bread or rice, to serve
How to Make:
1. In a large pot, add the pre-rinsed red lentils with about 800ml water, bring to the boil and then reduce heat to medium.
2. Meanwhile, in a different saucepan on medium heat, add the finely chopped onions to the oil and sweat down for 10 mins.
3. To the saucepan, stir in the garlic and cook for a further 1 min, then stir in the spices and mustard seeds and cook for another 1-2 minutes or until fragrant.
4. Add a splash of water to loosen the spice masala and then add the chopped butternut squash, stirring through. Allow to cook for a further 10 minutes.
5. Add the lentils and simmer for another 20 mins until the lentils and squash are tender.
6. Tip in the chopped tomatoes, stock and season with salt to taste. Bring to the boil, then gently simmer for about 10 mins. Stir in the coriander and serve with warmed naan bread, rice and wedges of lemon.
That is why B-well has carefully created and compiled The Immune Boosting Cookbook filled with yummy, mouth-watering and oh-so-easy recipes that comprise an alchemy of immune-boosting nutrients. There are plenty of recipes that support a healthy and effective immune response for holistic wellbeing. Visit www.bwellfoods.co.za/cookbook for your FREE copy today.