If boosting your family’s immunity is at the forefront of your mind right now, you’re not the only one! Now, more than ever, the power of a healthy, nutrient-dense diet has never been more important. Here at Wholesome Child we want to give you and your family the tools needed to keep you healthy, strong and vibrant in the wake of the Coronavirus and the annual flu seasons.
Here are my top 5 immunity boosting tips to help protect your family’s health today:
Tip 1: Eat the Rainbow – kids love colour, and so do our immune systems! The more variety of colour in our diet (the natural kind!) the larger the range of essential vitamins and minerals we’re getting into our systems to help fight off unwanted illnesses.
- Think strawberries, oranges and capsicums for Vitamin C to help strengthen resistance to infection. My Superfruits+ booster provides 100% RDI of vitamin C for 1-3 year olds. 1 serve is equivalent to the vitamin C found in an orange and more than a cup of blueberries!
- Green vegetables like broccoli, brussel sprouts and spinach contain essential micronutrients like Vitamin A, Vitamin C, fibre and calcium to help boost immunity. My Veggies+ booster is a wholefood multivitamin and provides a potent dose of minerals and vitamins from nature's best sources. You get the goodness of 15 veggies and supercharged greens in one versatile powder!
- Blueberries make an excellent addition to the diet as they’re rich in antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and amino acids thereby helping to promote a healthy immune system.
Tip 2: Love Your Guts – ‘gut health’ has become a buzzword in the health industry over the last few years, and for good reason! A healthy gut microbiome is essential for not only maintaining a healthy digestive system but also for keeping the immune system strong.
- Bone broth is the perfect addition to your family’s diet as it contains calcium, magnesium and phosphorus making it nature’s multivitamin! Try adding bone broth to soups and casseroles or even adding to a family favourite like Spaghetti Bolognaise (in place of stock) to pump in some extra nutrients without anyone being none the wiser!
- Adding sauerkraut or fermented veggies is another way to boost your gut health.
- Focus on prebiotic rich food, which promotes the proliferation of healthy bacteria in the digestive tract. Good sources of prebiotics are found in vegetables, fruit, nuts, seeds and legumes. The Protein+ boosters are also packed full with prebiotics to nourish good gut health.
Tip 3: Vitamin and Mineral Support – you may have reached for Vitamin C in the past to help shorten the duration of a cold or flu… and it’s that time again! Studies have shown that both Vitamin C, Vitamin D and Zinc can actively strengthen immunity and natural defences against flu viruses, and now there are new studies investigating it’s potential to fight the Coronavirus.
- Vitamin C can be found in many food sources including citrus fruits (oranges, lemons, limes), kiwi fruit, brussel sprouts, cauliflower, dark green vegetables and tomatoes. For powerful vitamin C dose, boost your smoothies, baked goods or spreads with Superfruits+.
- Zinc is a trace mineral that also plays a role in immunity and can be found in protein-containing foods like red meats as well as shellfish and wholegrains like quinoa. One serve of Superfruits+ contains the same amount of zinc as an egg!
- Vitamin D is best acquired from a daily dose of sunshine. It’s also found in oily fish, cod liver oil and egg yolk.
- Supplements may also be helpful during this time, but please speak to your health care professional for personal advice for you and your family.
Tip 4: Be a Superfood Superhero – what better way to boost your family’s health than filling their diet with nature’s superfoods!
- Shiitake mushrooms are a great place to start, they contain all 8 essential amino-acids, are packed with B vitamins plus have the ability to boost the immune system. A 2015 study found that consuming mushrooms improved cell effector function, improved gut immunity and reduced inflammation. My Superfruits+ formulation contains Shiitake mushrooms, plus acai berry, echinacea and elderberry
- Include chia seeds for more antioxidants than blueberries
- Salmon for omega-3s to help reduce the occurrence of infections.
- Broccoli for an abundant supply of antioxidants, Vitamin C, calcium, iron, beta-carotene and folate.
- Grass-fed beef or lamb are also excellent sources of iron and immune-boosting zinc. If you're struggling to get these foods into your family, check out my Protein+ range which contains both iron and zinc for immune support.
Tip 5: Keep Up the Fluids – whilst washing our hands frequently is super important right now so is keeping ourselves hydrated! As we head into the cooler months it’s common to not reach for our water bottles as much as we should.
- Try to avoid high-sugar soft drinks and fruit juices and instead encourage children to sip on water throughout the day.
- Keep things interesting and sneak in some extra nutrients by offering healthy smoothies and cold-pressed vegetable juices (boosted with Wholesome Child+ if your family needs some extra support!)
- And don’t forget the many benefits of herbal teas for the adults, some of my favourites include Lemon & Ginger, Chamomile and Rooibos.
As a bonus, I’ve created this Immunity-Boosting Cheatsheet below just for you so that you can refer to it easily before getting stuck into your next shopping list!
Main vitamins and minerals to be dosing up on now:
- Citrus fruits (oranges, lemons, limes)
- Sweet potatoes
- Leafy greens
- Kiwi fruit
- Brussel sprouts
- Grass-fed beef and lamb
- Kidney beans
- Egg yolk
- Peanut butter
- Pinto beans
- Sunflower seeds
- Sesame seeds
- Sunshine – it’s free! Get outside and get some sun on your skin every day.
- Egg yolk
- Live cultured yogurt (organic and/or grassfed are best)
- Fermented vegetables (kimchi, sauerkraut)
- Natto (fermented soy beans)
Shopping list got you feeling helpless? A spoon of our boosters provides a potent nutrient hit for your family, and all have been designed with immune health in mind. Explore the Wholesome Child+ range and see how easy it can be to improve your family's health and help them to be their best.
Whilst this is an uncertain time and there is a lot out of our control, feeding our families the best we can is one (very important!) way to feel like we’re taking action and protecting our loved ones. Stay well and don’t forget to look after yourself as well!