Our bodies go through life getting battered and bruised, growing and renewing themselves, bringing new life into the world, fighting diseases.
As an individual we only get one body. If we’re lucky, we have a good mother who feeds and nurtures us until we are old enough to do it ourselves. It is then our sole responsibility to make sure we look after ourselves by eating well and exercising.
Sometimes out bodies can go wrong. It may be our fault – maybe we have overeaten the wrong foods for too long, poisoned it with chemicals and toxins. But often those things that go wrong are just down to bad luck, the luck of the genetic draw, ending up with a faulty chromosome somewhere which starts to eat away without you realising it, until you start to feel unwell and discover a tumour that it starting to make itself known.
The long and short of it is that no one really knows what the future has in store for them, whether they may find themselves undergoing proton beam therapy, or living to be 100 without a care in the world. But what we can all do is give ourselves the best possible opportunity to live what life we have to the full, with passion.
Making sure you eat well is one of the easiest ways you can ensure that give yourself the best possible chance, no matter what happens. Eating well is not just about maintaining a healthy weight – but there are a myriad of foods available which are immune boosting, and promote cell renewal and help reduce inflammation in the body, which is a precursor to many diseases.
We’ve highlighted below our favourite essential foods which will add to the fighting spirit of your body as it carries you through life.
We had to start with the good stuff! Though this doesn’t mean you should go out and tock up on the Cadburys! Dark chocolate, with the highest cocoa content you can find, is a powerful source of antioxidants. It has been proven to lower blood pressure, reduce heart disease risk, raise HDL and protect LDL from oxidation. It can also improve brain function. So feel free to add some to your shopping basket – just don’t overdo it – a couple of squares a day is more than enough.
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Olive oil is one of those superfoods – but it needs to be Extra Virgin (EV) – its high content of polyunsaturated fatty acids act as an anti-inflammatory agent in the body, boost the immune system and protects the body from infection.
Forget the bad rap given to spinach by Popeye. Young, fresh baby spinach is packed with iron, vitamin C, and digestion-regulating fibre. Use it as a substitute to boring lettuce in salads.
The high levels of vitamin D found in eggs are vital to regulating and strengthening immunity. This powerhouse food also contains protein, 12 other essential vitamins and minerals, omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidants. There’s a reason why we are encouraged to ‘go to work on an egg’.
Tuna is packed with zinc, a mineral that has a significant impact on the immune system.
This delicious and aromatic herb is a rich source of antioxidants to help fight against inflammation, promoting digestive and gut health, which in turn helps to boost the immune system.
As well as being low calorie, mushrooms contain macronutrients that support a healthy immune system. These nutrients include selenium, Vitamin D, and Vitamin B6. Selenium helps your body make antioxidant enzymes to prevent cell damage. Vitamin D assists cell growth, boosts immune function and reduces inflammation. Vitamin B6 helps your body form red blood cells, proteins and DNA.
This list is by no means exhaustive, but they represent some of the most popular and common food stuffs that are easy and cheap to incorporate into your diet.