When we’re looking to boost our immunity and wellness in general, one of the first places we should go to is our kitchens.
Think back to stories of days gone by when… if someone had the flu, there would have been massive batches of traditional chicken soup made up to help their bodies naturally fight it off. Likelihood is you or someone you know has a family chicken soup recipe to share, right? What about hot lemon and honey for sore throats or ginger and garlic to help ward off a cold… They’re not old wives’ tales. All of these recipes and ingredient combinations are folklore because they work and because of the nutrient make-up and natural immunity boosting properties of these foods.
So, let’s delve a little deeper and see how you and your Thermomix® can help boost your family’s immunity naturally.
First up, go for colour and variety
One of the greatest pillars for supporting both our gut health, immunity and wellbeing in general is to eat a varied, wholefood diet. Naturopathic circles recommend around 50 different types of wholefoods every week for optimal health. You’re not alone in thinking this is A LOT! But just using your Thermomix® and Cookidoo® to help you meal plan and create diverse, rich and nourishing meals for you and your family is a great place to start.
Browse Cookidoo® for new recipe ideas so you’re not relying on those same old staples week-in, week-out, mix it up a bit with your meal choices and choose to include 1-3 new wholefood ingredients each week to help give your body the variety it needs.
We are what we eat; our diets can be anti-inflammatory in nature, gut-loving, nourishing, healthful and totally delicious – all factors we can lean on when we are looking to boost our immunity from the inside-out.
Now onto spotlight ingredients and recipes…
Get into garlic, ginger and turmeric
Yes, these aromatics add amazing depth of flavour but their benefits go far further than taste. They also come with a whole host of immunity-boosting benefits – they’re naturally anti-inflammatory, anti-viral and anti-bacterial and also high in antioxidants, all things we like a lot of when immunity boosting.
Here’s the link to our Immune Boosting Smoothie which includes both ginger and turmeric and definitely check out the other recipes on our Immunity Boosters page too – the link is at the bottom of this article.
Pack a Vitamin C punch
It’s no coincidence that Vitamin C rich citrus fruits are in season during the cooler months, as Vitamin C is a vital nutrient in supporting a healthy immune system. When we’re experiencing periods of stress or infection, Vitamin C is rapidly used by our bodies in our defense, so it’s really beneficial to up your intake of Vitamin C if you’re feeling run down.
Think citrus fruits like lemons, limes and oranges but also fruits and vegetables such as strawberries, kiwi, pears, red capsicum, pineapple, cabbage, cauliflower, tomatoes and even salad greens such as radicchio all contain Vitamin C.
It’s beneficial to bear in mind too that Vitamin C is sensitive to heat, light and air and can lose a lot of its potency quickly, so vitamin C containing foods are best consumed raw and as fresh as possible in order to get in the best of the best of that nutrient density.
Ever needed an excuse to indulge in freshly shucked oysters? Now is your time because they are high in zinc which is a really useful mineral when your body is fighting off viral infections. Don’t worry if oysters aren’t your thing, other great sources of zinc include all seafood, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, egg yolks and beef.
Awareness around the importance of gut health across all areas of our health and wellbeing is on the rise, especially with its foundations in our general immune function. Stocking up on friendly bacteria-containing fermented foods and drinks such as natural yoghurt, sauerkraut, kimchi, miso paste, kefir and kombucha are great additions to your diet. It’s also great to increase your consumption of prebiotic foods such as garlic, onion, leek, asparagus, oats, flaxseed, and pulses like lentils and beans.
Get busy making homemade kimchi in your Thermomix® to have on hand for salads, sandwiches, buddha and nourish bowls, and even using in savoury muffins – just 10 minutes of prep time ain’t bad!
Mushrooms are real winners in the superfoods stakes. Even the simplest of mushrooms come with a variety of benefits, not to mention functional and medicinal mushrooms. In the immunity realm and also considering accessibility and ease of cooking, we love shitake mushrooms. Our Mushroom stroganoff is a beautiful and comforting way to enjoy them.
Every family’s got their favourite and this is ours. Deb, one of our recipe developers, made this ‘Hug in a mug’ chicken soup recipe for her father while she was caring for him at home. We went on to include it in our Meals in a Flash cookbook as a tribute to him. It’s a loving hug in a mug for whenever you need it.