Health blog series : Micro-nutrients that boost your immune system
With winter coming soon and several countries around the world facing another lockdown, it’s important to find the ingredients that boost your immune system. Cooking healthy, nutritious meals will keep you feeling good which eventually helps both your physical and mental wellbeing.
What are micro-nutrients?
Micro-nutrients are one of the major groups of nutrients your body needs. They include vitamins and minerals. Vitamins are necessary for energy production, immune function, blood clotting and other functions. Meanwhile, minerals play an important role in growth, bone health, fluid balance and several other processes. Many can be easily stored as they are fat soluble, so they are perfect to add into your weekly menu.
B6 is vital for over a hundred reactions to create disease-fighting protein and reduces symptoms of depression. Many foods contain Vitamin B6 with pistachios, bananas and avocados boasting high content. Why not start your day with a banana nut oatmeal recipe?
Vitamin C is an essential vitamin, meaning your body can’t produce it. One of many benefits is that it boosts our immune system and it’s found commonly in citrus fruits; fresh orange juice is a great source. However, there’s plenty of other fruits and vegetables high in Vitamin C such as strawberries, guava, kiwi, kale and broccoli. Try eating a fruit salad which contains:
2 gold kiwi fruits
1 cup of fresh strawberries
Vitamin E acts as an antioxidant and helps neutralise oxygen molecules, which can potentially harm cells. For example, 28 grams of dry roasted hazelnuts provide 4.3 mg of vitamin E. Always carry with you a small food container with walnuts, almonds and hazelnuts to receive your daily intake.
It plays several important roles in the health of your body and brain and has anti-inflammatory benefits. Also our body uses magnesium to regulate blood pressure and for protein creation. We all know spinach contains iron, but it also contains magnesium-creating proteins which fight viruses and disease. If you want something different try dark chocolate (70% cocoa or more) since 28 grams will provide you with 64 mg of magnesium.
Zinc is considered an essential nutrient, meaning that your body can’t produce or store it. It boosts your immune system in many ways, but predominantly it activates the breakdown of proteins in viruses, so they are less able to spread. Beans are rich in zinc but you can try eating whole wheat bread instead to avoid highly processed flour,
One benefit of working from home is that you can easily keep an eye on what you are consuming throughout the day. If you would like to know more recipes and other nutritional information leave a comment below. Enjoy!