Here is my personal + manageable list of widely available foods which are easily incorporated in a wide range of meals and snacks.
Garlic has long been considered a natural wonder-drug and is known to have strong antioxidant properties. Not only is garlic good for your heart health, it is also thought to be – thanks to its antibacterial effect – a good way to avoid catching a cold or flu.
Pro-biotic organisms in yoghurt (make sure the packaging says ‘live and active cultures’) increases the number of good bacteria in your gut, thus protecting you against infections and more serious conditions such as cancer.
If you can stand the heat, then chilli peppers contain an anti-inflammatory substance called capsaicin and has been linked with pain relief associated with conditions such as arthritis. Chillies are also thought to protect your heart, fight infection thanks to large amounts of vitamins A and C.
There is a reason why doctors advise people to take vitamin C supplements to avoid catching a cold. The body can’t produce the vitamin on its own, so the best way to get it into your system is to eat oranges, lemons or other citrus fruit.
Prawns and shrimp are low in fat but rich in protein, iron and zinc, which are thought to bolster the immune system. Prawns also contain vitamin B, which gives us energy and has also been linked to improving immunity.
The humble green pea (frozen is fine) is bursting with goodness, containing no fewer than eight vitamins and seven minerals as well as fibre and protein. As well as helping your heart, bones, and general wellbeing, peas also contain vitamin C to protect you from colds and other infections.
When it comes to disease-fighting vegetables, broccoli is king! As well as containing huge amounts of vitamin C, broccoli has also been linked to cancer prevention and heart, stomach, eye, bone and skin health.
The omega-3 fatty acids in oily fish, such as salmon, tuna and mackerel, are good a protecting the body from respiratory infections. The oils increase the activity of phagocytes, white blood cells which destroy bacteria and thus help the body fight infection. Aim for 2 portions (c140g) of oily fish per week.
Stay healthy & bon appetit.