Acai bowl topped with fruit. Picture: Instagram.
Acai bowl topped with fruit. Picture: Instagram.

3 recipes to help boost your immune system

By Sacha van Niekerk Time of article published May 27, 2021

Share this article:

Get your immune system into gear with these delicious and healthy recipes perfect for flu-fighting.

The phrase "you are what you eat” rings true when it comes to immune system health. Both eating and lifestyle choices like exercise and the stress of your job can influence a healthy immune system.

According to research published on the Harvard website, a poor diet lacking in one or various nutrients can compromise the generation and activity of immune cells and antibodies.

So, as tempting as it may be to indulge in sugary, salty and processed junk food during the chilly winter months, with a third Covid-19 wave possibly on the horizon and flu season too, it’s best to eat right to build up a strong immune system.

3 recipes to help strengthen your immune system:

Hearty soup

By @lindsay.lives.well

This soup is the perfect winter pick-me-up that’s packed with veggies.

It had turmeric, which is a bright orange root used as a spice in Indian cuisine.

Turmeric also happens to contain bioactive compounds that promote good health.

This includes strong anti-inflammatory properties and antioxidant that protect your cells against free radicals.

The soup also has ginger which offers a fiery punch that helps add flavour and inhibits rhinovirus, which can cause the common cold.

INGREDIENTS

2 tbsp olive oil or coconut oil⁣

1 onion, diced⁣

1 head of celery, diced⁣⁣

450g of carrots, cut into coins⁣

1 tbsp minced garlic⁣

2 tsp ground turmeric⁣

2 tsp sea salt⁣

1 tsp ground ginger⁣

1 tsp dried thyme⁣

1 tsp black pepper⁣

1kg boneless, skinless chicken breast or thighs, cut into bite-sized pieces⁣

1 can of full-fat coconut milk⁣

6 cups chicken broth or bone broth⁣

1 lemon, juiced⁣

1 bunch leafy greens, roughly chopped (kale, spinach, or rocket work great)⁣

METHOD

Heat the olive or coconut oil in a large pot over medium-high heat.

Add the chicken to the pot and season lightly with a pinch of salt and pepper.

Allow it to cook undisturbed for 3 minutes before stirring. Cook for another 3-5 minutes or until all sides are browned.⁣

⁣Add the onion and celery to the pot and cook for 5-7 minutes, until the onion is translucent. Add the garlic and stir until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the carrots and stir in the turmeric, sea salt, ginger, thyme and black pepper. When the spices are evenly distributed add the broth. Bring to a gentle boil.⁣

Lower the heat to a simmer and cover for 30 minutes. Add the coconut milk and greens to the pot at this time. Stir and cook until the greens are fully wilted.⁣

Add the lemon juice and then taste the soup for seasoning. Add additional salt, pepper, or lemon juice if desired.

Butternut squash fritters

By @franceslrothrd

Start your day off right with a stack of healthy fritters.

Carrots, butternut and sweet potatoes contain beta carotene which is a plant pigment that gives red, orange, and yellow vegetables their vibrant hue.

These gluten-free pancakes contain a ton of this property which helps the body convert carotenoids into vitamin A (retinol) which help protect against disease and enhance the immune system.

Additionally, beta carotene has powerful antioxidant properties.

INGREDIENTS

1 cup cubed, steamed butternut squash

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

11/2 tsp baking powder

1 tbsp coconut oil, plus a little more for the pan

1 cup almond flour

1/4 cup chopped walnuts

METHOD

Combine all ingredients except walnuts in a blender until smooth.

Heat a large, oiled frying pan over med-high heat. Scoop out 1/4 cup of the batter and pour into skillet. Repeat, leaving an inch between the fritters.

Cook until edges are dry, then flip and cook 1 minute more.

Enjoy with syrup and garnish with walnuts.

Acai bowl

By @sambazonuk

This smoothie bowl is creamy, delicious and filled with ingredients that will kickstart your morning.

The fiery bite of ginger and the fruitiness of acai bring more to the table than simply flavour.

Both contain antioxidants that strengthen our immune system.

The avocado and peanut butter serve as a great source of healthy fats which are necessary for the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K.

INGREDIENTS

1/2 avocado

1 banana

1 cup frozen forest fruit berry mix

1 cup frozen açaí

1 tbsp peanut butter

2cm chunk fresh ginger

METHOD

Blend all the ingredients together in a food processor until smooth and top with dark choc and walnuts.

Share this article: