When you pick up a virus, your immune system kicks into gear to protect your body, so keeping your immunity strong is a great way to help look after your health. Here are six dietitian-approved drinks to help strengthen your immunity.
Drink your greens
Eating (or drinking) more fruit and vegies will support and strengthen your immune system. Adding vegies to a morning smoothie will provide vitamin C and iron—both essential for a healthy immune system.
Honey and lemon
It’s not just an old wives’ tale—a warm honey and lemon drink will help support immunity. Lemons are rich in vitamin C, which helps boost immunity. Honey has antibacterial, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.
Almond milk (with B12)
Vitamin B12 helps to reduce fatigue and assists the immune system. The main sources of vitamin B12 are animal products, so if you are vegetarian it can be difficult to get enough vitamin B12. Vitamin B12 fortified almond milks can be added to your smoothie, cuppa or cooking.
Drinking more water is good for your health in general and your immune system. Try infusing your water with berries or citrus fruits for a delicious drink with extra vitamin C.
Adding a handful of nuts to a smoothie is a delicious way to incorporate extra vitamins and minerals. Nuts contain a combination of at least 28 essential nutrients, including vitamin E, iron and zinc—another nutrient vital to support your body’s natural defences.
Whether as a tea or infused in water, ginger is an ideal go-to when the weather cools. Ginger has been used as a traditional medicine for centuries and modern science supports its anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidative benefits.
Immunity-boosting shopping staples
Healthy gut foods. A healthy immune system starts with good gut bacteria. For this you need probiotics—live bacteria beneficial to your gut microbiome— and prebiotics—which feed probiotics. Find probiotics in fermented foods, yoghurt and sourdough bread. You’ll find prebiotics in legumes and vegies like asparagus and onions.
Healthy fats. Healthy fats can help regulate your immune system’s response to infection, so load up on nuts, avocado and olive oil.
Powerful plant protection. Phytonutrients are chemicals released from plants that help them stay healthy. You can reap the same benefits by eating plenty of plant foods. Phytonutrient-rich foods include colourful fruits and vegies, legumes, nuts, whole grains, and many herbs and spices.