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10 surprising foods that boost immunity

Fresh basil, sage and parsley

Eating to support your immune system is more important than ever.  Dietitian Melissa Meier shares 10 lesser-known immunity-boosting foods to help give your body a fighting chance against viruses such as colds and flu.

1 Easy vitamin E

Increase your vital vitamin E intake with hulled tahini. Tahini is great in hummus, dressings or simply spread on toast. Vitamin E can only be obtained through your diet.

2 Antioxidise with berries

Add fresh or frozen mixed berries to porridge or healthy homemade muffins for disease-fighting antioxidants.

3 Use herbs for flavour and health

Throw away the salt shaker and flavour soups, stews and roasts with fresh herbs like basil, coriander and thyme. These herbs are packed with crucial antioxidants.

4 The sunshine vitamin

Vitamin D helps to maintain immune function. For a hit of the sunshine vitamin, snack on Greek-style yoghurt fortified with vitamin D, or add mushrooms that have been exposed to sunlight to your meals.

5 A vitamin brew

Vitamin enriched tea is a tasty way to keep up your fluid intake. It also provides zinc, a disease-fighting antioxidant.  Look for it in your tea aisle or healthfood stores.

6 Snack on iron

Crunch into a handful of pumpkin seeds for a shot of iron, which is essential for the development of immune cells.

7 Garlic goodness

Throw garlic into anything and everything you want to. Why? It contains the antibacterial compound allicin.

8 Up your vitamin A

Carrots are bursting with beta-carotene, which converts to vitamin A in your body. Vitamin A helps keep the lining of your digestive system healthy, which acts as a barrier to infection.

9 Love your gut bugs

Sip on kombucha for a hit of gut-lovin’ probiotics, which can reduce the severity of both cold and flu symptoms.

10 Hit it with hot vitamin C

Spice up your cooking with fresh red chilli. Just 25g provides over 100 per cent of your daily vitamin C needs to support your immunity.

First published: Jun 2020

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