Summer immunity: top tips for staying well this season

Summer is not generally the time when we think about supporting the immune system. However, summer colds and infections are still prevalent at this time of year. Plus, for those unfortunate allergy sufferers, having a tip-top immune system can help control the unpleasant symptoms.

Clinical Nutritionist, Suzie Sawyer, shares her five top immune-boosting nutrients to keep you bug-free through the summer.

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VITAMIN C

Warranting its ‘top spot’ on the list of immune-boosting nutrients, Vitamin C is anti-viral and anti-bacterial so can help to keep unwanted invaders at bay. It’s also a nutrient that plays a key part in the control of the body’s release of histamine, so it can also help to manage the symptoms of allergies.

Vitamin C is easily destroyed in foods through storage, preparation and cooking. Therefore, eating raw fruits and vegetables ensures higher amounts of vitamin C are obtained from food. If you are cooking, lightly steaming vegetables is a much better way of retaining vitamin C. Frozen fruits and vegetables also make a good choice; they’re generally frozen quite quickly after harvest, hence more of their nutrient content is retained.

Summer is a great time for finding foods high in vitamin C as there are so many readily available. For example, strawberries are at their very best right now, as are other vitamin C-rich fruits such as blackberries and cherries. Vegetables including red peppers and broccoli are also great sources.

VITAMIN D

Known as the ‘sunshine vitamin’, and there’s certainly plenty of that around at the moment, we still need to keep vitamin D levels topped up all year round. It’s an immune-essential but not that readily available in foods. However, oily fish, beef, mushrooms and milk contain some vitamin D2; the body prefers vitamin D3 which is produced on the skin when exposed to sunlight and is available in good-quality food supplements.

Vitamin D production on the skin is blocked by high factor sun cream. Therefore, it is advisable to try to expose arms or legs to the sun for around 15 minutes a day if possible, before applying sun cream.

A supplement containing a minimum of 10 micrograms of Vitamin D is recommended daily by Public Health England to ensure the body has sufficient levels and, most importantly, means you should be less susceptible to colds and infections during the summer months.

ECHINACEA

A well-known and loved herb, Echinacea helps to increase white blood cell production, which in turn can help support the immune system. If you’re susceptible to colds then it’s certainly worth taking Echinacea as a preventative remedy (as we know, prevention is always better than cure), particularly if you’re around people who are infected or if you are just starting to feel the first signs of a cold.

The herb is readily available in health food stores but always look for the THR symbol on pack; this stands for Traditional Herbal Remedy and means it’s a fully licensed herbal medicine, therefore the quality and efficacy of the herb can be guaranteed.

VITAMIN A

Vitamin A is another great supporter of the immune system. It is found in animal products but the body also produces it from beta-carotene as needed.

Foods such as meat, dairy and fish provide good sources of retinol-based vitamin A which is much easier for the body to utilise. However, the body can convert carotenoids such as beta-carotene (which is the best source of pro-vitamin A) from fruits, vegetables and nuts into Vitamin A. Sweet potatoes and carrots contain some of the highest amounts of beta-carotene and the body will convert it into Vitamin A when it is required.

ZINC

It’s the hardest working mineral within the immune system and indeed, it works pretty hard throughout the body. Zinc increases the production of immune cells, plus it helps produce natural killer cells which are needed to kill viruses and bacteria.

Zinc is found in animal and vegetable foods with spinach being the top plant-based source. Oysters, red meat, pumpkin seeds, flax seeds and kidney beans are all great providers of zinc. It’s best to try to include at least one of these foods in the diet each day. Alternatively, take a supplement containing zinc throughout the year to keep the immune system in good shape and avoid those annoying summer colds.

So don’t miss a moment of summer due to a cold: with a few simple diet tweaks you can prepare your body to be fighting fit.

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Immunity-boosting nutrition tips this spring

Close up of woman with her arms stretched out in sunshine wearing sunglasses

With spring on the way we naturally want to get out and about and certainly don’t want to be dragged down by colds or infections that prevent us from enjoying life to the full. A change in season can often put the body under more stress, so what are the best ways to get your immune system in good shape this spring time?

Clinical Nutritionist, Suzie Sawyer, shares FIVE of her top immune-boosting foods!

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PURPLE SPROUTING BROCCOLI

Purple sprouting broccoli has been cultivated since the 18th century but has only risen to prominence in the UK in the last 30 years or so. All green leafy vegetables provide great health benefits but the purple colour means that it also contains higher levels of polyphenols – plant compounds, rich in antioxidants which provide wonderful support for the immune system. Additionally, purple sprouting broccoli contains vitamins A and C, together with a variety of carotenoids – all key for immunity.

Not sure what to do with it? It is great stir-fried with pine nuts, sesame oil and seeds, sweet chilli sauce or just plain steamed as an accompaniment to meat or fish. Grab it now whilst it’s in season – this means it is packed with the highest nutrient content – perfect for giving your immune system a boost.

CRAB

You might not necessarily associate crab with immunity but it’s high in the mineral selenium which is needed to produce our key antioxidant enzyme in the body called glutathione peroxidase. This in turn, helps protect us from infections and disease.

A close up of a bowl of crab salad

The easiest way to enjoy crab is in a salad using the prepared crab meat from the fish counter or from your fishmonger. If you mix the crab meat with a dash of tabasco sauce, lime juice, capers, some black pepper and chopped coriander leaves, you can pair it with some mixed leaves for a delicious spring time salad.

SPINACH

A wonderfully versatile vegetable that will help to keep you bug-free through spring! It can be cooked in a variety of ways, added to dishes or it may be used in salads, raw. In fact it mixes really well with bacon in a salad.

Spinach is in season right now so will be a lovely dark green colour in the shops or markets. It’s great for the immune system because it contains high levels of vitamins A and C. Spinach is probably best known for its high iron content (Popeye knew best!) which helps to give energy levels a great boost; very helpful if you’re wanting some spring time fun.

Close up of Spinach salad with peas, asparagus and radish

There’s so many ways to use spinach; added to soups, casseroles or pasta, lightly steamed and served with a knob of butter, stir-fried with garlic and butter, sautéed with a little olive oil and parmesan, or in a salad with some grilled haloumi and fresh mint.  Why not create a delicious greens salad with spinach, peas and asparagus. Enjoy!

ACAI BERRIES

All berries are great for the immune system but acai are actually some of the best. This is because acai berries have one of the highest antioxidant ratings of any food and they’re rich in fibre too. This means they’re great for the immune system, plus the skin and heart.

Acai berries in a bowl and a spoon of acai berry powder

One of the most delicious recipes for acai berries is an acai berry bowl. You can either use them as a freeze-dried powder or try frozen berries whizzed up with banana, avocado, other berry fruits, and coconut water with a crunchy topping of nuts and seeds to boost your omega-3s.

TEA

It doesn’t matter what colour – black, green or white – all types are rich in immune-boosting polyphenols. However, green tea actually has the highest amount of antioxidants. This is because methods of tea production vary from tea type. For example, green tea leaves are picked and then left out to dry (generally in the sunlight) before being put into hot roasting tins. After being rolled, they are then further heat treated which produces green, slightly withered tea leaves. Green tea is higher in antioxidants because the leaves are not left in the atmosphere to oxidise before they’re harvested.

A glass tea cup of green tea

Green tea is also great for the immune system as it helps to feed the beneficial bacteria in the gut. Strange as it may seem, balanced gut bacteria is absolutely essential for good immunity. However, it’s best to drink any type of tea in-between meals as the tannin content tends to deplete certain trace minerals in our food.

So keep well this spring and enjoy spending more time outdoors as the warm weather arrives.

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Shout about sprouts! Everything you need to know about nutritious Brussels sprouts.

Plate with traditional Christmas dinner and a delicious turkey on the table in the background

Brussels sprouts are synonymous with Christmas and will always appear on any traditional Christmas menu. However, just like marmite, people love them or hate them even though they deliver wonderful nutritional benefits.

Clinical Nutritionist Suzie Sawyer stands up for sprouts and also suggests alternatives if you really can’t stomach these little green vegetables!

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Did you know that Britons eat more Brussels Sprouts than any other country in Europe, even though they originated from Brussels? The area dedicated to sprout fields in the UK is equivalent to around 3,240 football pitches so there must be more lovers than haters? So what’s so good about sprouts?

PACKED FULL OF NUTRITION

Brussels sprouts are bursting with nutrients and actually contain more vitamin C per 100 grams than oranges.  Plus they’re a great source of folate – a B vitamin which helps energy production and red blood cell production – and vitamin A for a strong immune system. Even better, they’re full of fibre which keeps the bowels in smooth working order.  The only down side is that they can produce unpleasant wind, but this can be reduced by cooking them as quickly as possible in fast-boiling water in an uncovered saucepan.

One often-forgotten nutritional fact about sprouts is that they are actually rich in protein; they provide around 4 grams of protein per cup, which is high for a vegetable.

THEY CAN HELP THE BODY DETOX

It may not be the time of year we traditionally think about detoxing, but why not give a helping hand to the body and help it to cope better with any excesses of the festive season?

Brussels sprouts are high in glucosinolates which help activate other detoxing compounds, plus they are high in sulphur, which is key in activating the liver’s natural detoxification systems.

WHY THE BITTER TASTE AND SMELL?

It has been proven that some people have a gene that can make certain foods, most specifically sprouts, taste bitter, which may explain why some people dislike them.  However, this bitter taste can be overcome by adding other flavours. It is often over-cooking sprouts that produces the rather unpleasant smell that can pervade the whole house so why not try steaming them instead?

DELICIOUS SPROUT DISHES

There are so many positives to eating Brussels sprouts regularly in the diet, so how can you make them even more appealing?  Sprouts work really well with bacon, onions and raisins which will compliment your Christmas meal perfectly.  They can also be sautéed with garlic and shallots.

Plus, if you want to be sure of avoiding sprout cooking smells, then why not roast them in the oven for about 15 minutes with chorizo, garlic, paprika and a little olive oil.  If you wanted to make them into more of a main meal, then why not add some small sausages?

STILL NOT CONVINCED?

If Brussels sprouts really don’t ‘float your boat’ then there’s plenty of healthy alternatives.  They come from a family of vegetables called the brassicas which are very well-known for their health benefits.  They’re also better known as cruciferous vegetables and are all super-foods in their own right.

Think kale, cauliflower, collard greens, cabbage, broccoli and turnips.  You can put broccoli in stir fries, kale into pasta dishes and cauliflower can be mashed or made into the all-round favourite cauliflower cheese. Try sautéing some greens with garlic and add turnips to a slow-cooked stew.

Whatever you decide, always try to select sprouts that are fresh and bright green with tightly-packed leaves and no patches of yellow.  Make this Christmas the year to start loving sprouts!

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Nutritious alternatives to pumpkin this Halloween

A Halloween jack o lantern carved out of a watermelon

With Halloween festivities in full flow, pumpkins are top of the shopping list not just for making lanterns but also for eating.  However if pumpkins are not to your taste, fear not as there are plenty of other tasty and nutritious options in the same vegetable family.

Clinical Nutritionist, Suzie Sawyer, shares some of her favourites.

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The curcubit family, from which the pumpkin hails, is very large with around 995 species, although many you may not have heard of!  However, there are some very well-known and highly nutritious members of the family that can be included regularly into your diet, particularly if pumpkin is not your favourite vegetable.

CUCUMBER

The term ‘cool as a cucumber’ is often used and for very good reason. Cucumbers are cool to the touch but also have a very high water content (around 96%), which makes them both refreshing to eat but also wonderful to revive tired skin and eyes.

Although their high water content makes their nutritional value relatively low compared to other family members, as with any colourful vegetable they still provide valuable nutrients, namely vitamin C, K, B1 and B5 as well as some trace minerals.

Cucumbers are great to include in many recipes and will certainly help to flush out toxins from the body and can even help with weight loss. Cucumber works really well with strong flavours such as tuna. Why not try searing a fresh tuna steak and adding a Japanese-style salad with sliced cucumber strips, spring onions, cherry tomatoes with a dressing of lime juice, soy sauce and sesame oil? This makes a quick, easy, tasty and nutritious mid-week dinner.

COURGETTE

Courgettes, also known as zucchini, are very easy to grow in your home garden because the plants produce large quantities of the vegetable. However, if you’re not very ‘green-fingered’ then both the green and yellow varieties are readily available in the supermarkets and are extremely versatile in many recipes.  Plus they’re very low in calories and are packed with immune-boosting beta-carotene and vitamin C.

Zucchini can be used in ratatouille with tomatoes and onions, in a soup with pea and pesto, plain griddled, or sliced, lightly fried and layered with ricotta cheese and drizzled with olive oil.

BUTTERNUT SQUASH

Is this just a pumpkin by any other name? Well not quite, but the two are very similar.  Obviously the two come from the same family, and one could easily say that pumpkin is just another type of squash. However, they certainly taste different.

With regard to nutritional content they’re pretty similar. Butternut squash is very high in beta-carotene which converts into vitamin A in the body, as needed.  Beta-carotene is also a powerful antioxidant which helps support the immune system – a real positive for this time of year.

One of the tastiest ways to eat butternut squash is alongside sweet potato and beetroot simply roasted in the oven with a little olive oil and freshly ground pepper – truly colourful and delicious!

WATERMELON

Did you know that watermelons were first harvested in Egypt around 5,000 years ago?  Since then they have reputably become THE best-loved fruit in the US.  And that’s no surprise!

Obviously, as their name suggests, they contain a high percentage of water – around 92% (not quite as high as cucumber, but close!)

Another little-known fact about watermelons is that they may improve libido.  This is because they contain a compound called citrulline which converts in the kidneys to arginine; an amino acid that helps to relax blood vessels encouraging blood flow to the sex organs.  This effect may also be beneficial in cases of erectile dysfunction.

Interestingly, whilst tomatoes are well-known for their lycopene content, watermelons actually contain more!  Lycopene is great at zapping unwanted free radicals that try to harm the body, but it’s also protective of the heart, male prostate and skin.  Moreover, it has great anti-inflammatory effects which is positive for the bones and joints.  Watermelon is a real winner; delicious in flavour with many nutritional benefits.  It’s always best enjoyed simply on its own.

So, whether you like pumpkins or not, there are many other members of the family which can be enjoyed this Halloween and all year-round!

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How to fight hay fever the natural way

If the onset of summer means itchy eyes, tickly throat and lots of sneezing, then there’s plenty of natural help at hand for hay fever.  Unfortunately, summer can be a miserable time for millions of hay fever sufferers but there are lots of ways that nature can actually help.

Clinical Nutritionist, Suzie Sawyer, looks at some natural remedies to help combat hay fever so you can better enjoy the lovely summer days.

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IMMUNE DEFENCE

Any allergic reaction involves a response from the body’s immune system. An allergy triggers the release of histamine, which, in, turn causes the tell-tale itchy eyes, sneezing, coughing and wheezing.

Supporting the immune system needs to be the first line of defence.  Vitamin A is key in helping to reduce inflammation in the mucous membranes which get irritated and cause these symptoms.  Plus it’s also a key immune-boosting vitamin. Eating plenty of eggs, liver and fish, all high in vitamin A, is a good plan.

The body also converts something called beta carotene into vitamin A as it needs it; colourful fruits and vegetables, particularly carrots, peppers, mangoes and sweet potatoes all contain beta carotene and should certainly feature high on the menu to really help boost the immune system.

With the summer months now in full swing, we tend to naturally eat more fruits, vegetables and salads in any case so you’ll generally be eating more vitamin C, another key immune-booster. Berry fruits, in particular, are all high in vitamin C.

If you’re time-poor having a selection of fruits and vegetables in the freeze is a great way to make sure you have access to those immune-boosting nutrients at any time.

SPICE UP YOUR LIFE

The spice, turmeric, is currently hot, in more ways than one!  There’s been extensive research published on the many health benefits of turmeric (also known as curcumin), and one of its key uses is reducing any inflammation in the body.

Turmeric appears to dampen down a specific enzyme in the body which is triggered by pollen, therefore, it can certainly help manage hay fever symptoms.  It’s easy to include turmeric in lots of dishes, not just spicy curries.  As an idea, spicy scrambled egg with spinach makes a wonderful breakfast.

Additionally, turmeric is widely available in supplement form if it’s just a little bit too hot for your palate.

INCLUDE QUERCETIN

What’s that you may ask?  Quercetin is a bioflavonoid or plant compound that helps to support immunity.  More specifically it’s been found to help manage the body’s release of histamine, therefore it can help prevent some of the unpleasant symptoms of allergies.

Foods such as onions, citrus fruits, apples and green tea all contain quercetin.  Interestingly, bromelain, which is a protein-digesting enzyme found in pineapples, helps the absorption of it, so eating a fruit salad containing both apples and pineapple is certainly going to help.

MAKE A CUPPA

There are two herbs of particular note which can help alleviate symptoms of hay fever. Camomile makes a wonderfully calming tea and is a natural anti-inflammatory and antihistamine; Elderflower tea can help chesty conditions and so may also help to ease hay fever.

EAT MORE FISH

Oily fish such as mackerel, sardines, salmon and tuna are all good sources of the omega-3 fats which help to manage any inflammation in the body.  It, therefore, naturally follows that these healthy omega-3 fats can help to dampen down some of the unpleasant hay fever symptoms.

With the barbecue season now in full flow, all these fish are great cooked in this way; try to eat oily fish three times a week if possible.

So, if you’re a hay fever sufferer, hopefully some of these natural remedies can help stop you sneezing your way through the summer!

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Everything you need to know about Vitamin A

 

Vitamin A was the first vitamin to be discovered hence giving it the name ‘A’!  And whilst every vitamin delivers their own health benefits, vitamin A really is one of the all-stars.

Clinical Nutritionist Suzie Sawyer delves a little deeper into the amazing health benefits of vitamin A!

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AN INTRODUCTION

Vitamin A is also known as retinol.  It was so-named because it’s crucial for the eyes; the retina at the back of the eye is key to good eyesight.  In fact, it’s essential for great vision – night and day.

Vitamin A was also once known as the ‘anti-infective’ vitamin because it has wonderfully positive effects on the immune system and helps to fight viruses and infections.  It’s also a powerful antioxidant which helps to hold back the years and protect us against some of the most prevalent degenerative diseases.

WHAT DOES PRO-VITAMIN A MEAN?

You may have heard the term pro-vitamin A.  This is because vitamin A can actually be produced in the body from beta carotene, as needed. Serious vitamin A deficiency is actually very rare in the Western World since the body has its own production unit.

Foods high in beta-carotene are generally fruits and vegetables that are red, yellow and orange in colour. This partly explains the ‘old-wives tale’ of carrots helping you to see in the dark!

WHERE CAN I FIND IT?

Vitamin A is available in animal foods, with fish liver oils being the richest source.  All types of liver, egg yolks and dairy are excellent sources.  There are many different fruits and vegetables that are pro-vitamin A, being carrots, kale, sweet potatoes, tomatoes and peppers.

Additionally, vitamin A is a fat soluble nutrient that can be stored in the liver so generally a ready-supply is available in the body, as required.

SUGGESTIONS FOR EVERYDAY EATING?

Since vitamin A is readily available directly in foods or in the form of beta carotene, there’s no end of choice for creating delicious vitamin A-packed meals. Think shepherd’s pie with sweet potato topping, liver and bacon with crispy kale side or chicken curry made with crème fraiche.

Even better, make your breakfast a real vitamin A treat with poached eggs and grilled tomatoes!  Eggs are actually the best way to start the day for many reasons alongside the vitamin A content; they’ll get your blood sugar levels well balanced so your energy levels will be sustained throughout the day.

IS VITAMIN A GOOD FOR THE SKIN?

Yes indeed. The reason being that vitamin A plays a key role in stimulating cellular activity associated with skin repair and protection of mucous membranes.  Vitamin A works at the base layer of the skin epidermis, healing and repairing.

A synthetic form of retinol, retinoic acid, has been produced, which is used to treat persistent and difficult skin conditions, particularly acne. However, because vitamin A is stored in the liver, care needs to be taken when using retinoic acid on a long-term basis because it may impede liver function.

WHAT ABOUT PREGNANCY?

You may have heard the advice that liver shouldn’t be consumed in large quantities during pregnancy.  This is because too much vitamin A can be harmful to the growing baby.  However, there is no cause for alarm.  Remember that vitamin A is absolutely essential for developing eyes.

The daily nutrient reference value (NRV) for vitamin A is 800 micrograms.  This is for supplementation purposes. Taking a supplement at this level is actually recommended during pregnancy.  It is perfectly safe (and indeed very wise) to eat plenty of colourful fruits and veg during pregnancy; remember the body only converts beta-carotene to vitamin A as needed by the body.

AM I GETTING ENOUGH?

We know that vitamin A deficiency is rare.  However, people suffering from malabsorption issues or liver problems can sometimes show slight deficiency symptoms such as poor immunity and susceptibility to infections.  Skin problems can also be a sign of deficiency and bumpy skin on the back of the arms can be a good indication that something’s up!

It’s worth also noting that people who have a high alcohol intake, who take cortisone medication for inflammatory problems, or have a high intake of iron may be low in vitamin A; iron competes with vitamin A for absorption in the body.  However, both work happily together when eaten or taken in supplement form at normal levels.

 

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Boost your immune system: easy, everyday swaps to help fight the bugs

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Keeping your immune system in tip-top condition is important all year round but especially in the traditional cold and flu season.  But there are some easy ways to help ward off any bugs flying around by making some simple swaps to your diet and upping your nutrition.

Clinical Nutritionist, Suzie Sawyer suggests some easy tweaks to your diet that will rev up your immune system and stop those bugs in their tracks!

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SWAP ORANGE JUICE FOR A GINGER ‘ZING’!

Many of us drink orange juice in the morning in the belief that this will help support our immune system.  The reality is that much of the vitamin C content is lost in processing and the fibre content is also reduced. It can also give your blood sugar levels an unwanted surge. A better option is to make a delicious ginger drink which you can keep in the fridge and which will boost your immune system every morning.

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Ginger is an antioxidant which helps to protect the immune system, plus it directly helps eradicate those nasty cold viruses.  It’s also a natural antimicrobial which means it helps fight any invaders.  This drink is easy to make; grate some ginger into a jug with the zest and juice of two lemons (you can use bottled lemon juice), together with some Manuka honey and water.  Manuka honey is different from other honey – it has an amazing nutritional profile, plus it’s also a great immune booster in its own right! This is a delicious drink that will really wake up your immune system and taste buds every morning.

SWAP SUGAR FOR XYLITOL

Do you tend to add sugar to tea, coffee and cereals? Enjoy baking biscuits and cakes?  If you’ve got a sweet tooth then trying to combat cravings can be tricky.  As well has having a detrimental effect on your waistline, sugar also impacts negatively on your immune system.  So why not swap to xylitol which is a natural sweetener and is readily available in the supermarkets?

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You use it just as you would sugar, but the great news is it has a minimal effect on blood sugar levels so it’s not going to encourage cravings.

SWAP UNHEALTHY SNACKS FOR COLOURFUL FRUIT AND VEG

The wonderful array of colours provided by fruits and vegetables deliver so many positive effects on the immune system that it makes sense to include as many as possible in your diet. So try swapping different snacks for colourful fruit and veg throughout the day for maximum health benefits.

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It’s not as difficult as you might think. Even if you don’t take all your lunch to work you can still increase your ‘colour’ intake by bringing a raw carrot, some sticks of cucumber and chopped peppers to work; these make a great colourful snack or side with your lunch.  If possible, why not leave some hummus in the fridge at work? Beetroot hummus is packed with antioxidants and tastes delicious, making a great dip for your raw vegetables.

Why not grab a tub of blueberries on your way to work? Blueberries are a superfood that really rev up the immune system, plus they don’t have too much impact on blood sugar levels, and, therefore your waistline.

SWAP WHITE POTATOES FOR SWEET POTATOES

Just like carrots, sweet potatoes are packed with beta-carotene which turns into vitamin A and helps to soak up those damaging free radicals. This in turn helps bolster the immune system and may even help stop the ageing process. A medium-sized sweet potato contains around 40% of your daily vitamin C requirements plus some iron which is great for the immune system, as well as energy levels.

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Even better you can make some deliciously tasty and healthy breakfast muffins with sweet potatoes.  All you need is a couple of eggs, some xylitol, cooked sweet potatoes, plain flour, cinnamon, baking powder and some chopped pecans (which will also add some protein to keep you feeling fuller for longer). Just combine the dry ingredients and the wet ingredients separately, then blend all together and fill some muffin cups with the mixture. Bake in the oven and in 25 minutes, you’ll have a delicious, on-the-go breakfast!

ADD FRIENDLY BACTERIA-BOOSTING FOODS TO YOUR DIET

Your digestive tract is packed full of bacteria – some good and some bad.  The more good or friendly bacteria you have the better; friendly flora deliver many positive health benefits, but specifically boost the immune system.

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You can feed these good bacteria by drinking green tea and Cat’s claw tea and sprinkling flaxseeds onto your morning cereal. Why not add more Jerusalem artichokes and asparagus to your diet which also boost these good bacteria?  Eating live yoghurt is another great way of helping the good guys in your stomach.

Top tip: if you’ve had to take antibiotics recently, it’s good advice to take a course of probiotics for at least a month to replenish the good bacteria and ensure you’re not at more risk from nasty invaders.

So why not try these easy nutrition tips and give your immune system a helping hand!

 

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