Whether you’re studying or working your socks off, there’s one thing you do not need; to get sick. Getting sick can really hamper your productivity and leave you with ‘not your best work’.
Your immune system is the clever little domino effect that bursts into action when you come into contact with pathogens. To fight off pathogens, your immune system responds with antigens, killing the potential virus or illness.
In order to have a fully functioning immune system, you need to fuel your body right. An army can’t fight on an empty stomach; neither can your immune system.
Which foods boost the immune system?
Famed for their deliciousness and antioxidant properties, these little blue dudes are up in arms in the fight against the common cold. Throw them on your oats, whack them in a smoothie or stick them in a Tupperware as an easy snack.
There’s a reason that sushi eating nations have such a high life expectancy. It’s all down to slippery suppers like salmon, tuna and pilchards. Omega-3 fatty acids are present in fish and are known to reduce the risk of autoimmune conditions and other nasties.
Spinach is a leafy green that’s full of flavonoids, carotenoids, vitamin C and vitamin E. Say goodbye to colds and sniffles and say hello to questionably coloured juices and bits in your teeth.
As if any of us really needed an excuse to order another serving of sweet potato fries, these guys are full of beta carotene. The orangey colour of both sweet potatoes and carrots comes from the vitamin A rich antioxidant, beta carotene. Plenty of orange veg can protect the skin against UV, the number one cause of skin cancer.
If you haven’t seen them on Instagram all fall, you’ve missed out. Turmeric is the new super food, having been found to have anti-inflammatory effects. Sip on these when you feel congested and breathe easy.
You’ll be devastated to know that dark chocolate is a free radical’s worst nightmare. Free radicals rampage around the body, damaging cells and contributing to disease. Turns out, a couple of bites of Green & Blacks might keep those rebels at bay.
If you're already feeling a bit under the weather, then we've got the perfect food that will help boost your immune system back up to it's healthy self.
Add this stinky saviour to soups and broths. Garlic has antibacterial, antiviral and anti-fungal effects that’ll kick your cold to the kerb.
Much better than a Gatorade, coconut water replenishes much needed electrolytes and gives the body an antioxidant boost to boot.
Bonus points if you can get hold of manuka honey. Used a wound dressing by the Egyptians, honey is an age old antimicrobial that stimulates the immune system. Melt it into tea to sooth a sore throat.
Chilli has several benefits if you’re already feeling under the weather. Firstly, it has a desensitizing effect that numbs sore throats and tickling coughs. Secondly, the effect of the spice is often a runny nose. If you’re feeling congested, a good hot curry could loosen sinuses and stimulate mucus.
Don’t let the common cold stop you from smashing your goals. Try to stay on top of your diet, but also minimize stress where possible. Stay organized and study smart to avoid overwhelm, too many late nights and a sluggish immune system.
Give these immunity boosting foods a go and feel ready to take on your next challenge with gusto.