Simple steps to stay well
By our resident nutritionist and naturopath Rhaya Jordan
To strenghten your health, rather than trying to choose the most “potent” antiviral foods, most of which is nonsense, think more in terms of a cobweb. By this I mean a combination of fresh fruits and vegetables, ancient grains and for some, grass-fed meat, which work together in a complex network of nutrition to strengthen your body, build your gut health and keep your immune system resilient.
As is so often the case, the most effective ways to maintain good health are the most fundamental: plenty of rest, plenty of fresh food, plenty of fresh water, and a walk somewhere green. Eating local seasonal foods grown on clean fertile soils nourishes your system and builds deep health. The overall pattern of eating fresh food and getting enough sleep will keep you healthy and strong, not a single “wonder-food”.
That said, there are some ways of eating in particular that are more focused on immune strength that you might want to include in your meals.
COOK WITH AROMATICS
Herbs and spices such as rosemary, thyme, garlic, ginger and chilli are all delicious and rich in aromatic properties that are great for your gut, help build resilience and immunity and contain potent antioxidants.
Combine these ingredients with a good olive oil, itself a potent health food, to draw out their essential oils and make versatile salad dressings and marinades.
MAKE USE OF MUSHROOMS
Even the most basic, everyday mushroom varieties can have a beneficial effect on your immune system. Supplements can also offer the benefits of mushrooms in a more potent form, but do not overlook a simple dish of mushrooms sautéed with garlic and thyme!
CHOOSE BRIGHT COLOURS
Anyone who has done a wellness workshop with me will have heard me talking about bright pigments in food and how they are a great shorthand way of “seeing” antioxidants: deep purple blueberries, greenish-black kale, bright scarlet pomegranates.
Rainbows are a great way of appealing to children and getting them interested in their food too – let them help make a rainbow fruit salad or organise a meal by making a colour wheel.
MAKE A FERMENT AT HOME
This is so easy and fun especially with children – who might be brave enough to taste sauerkraut if they have made it themselves! A well-made natural yoghurt is perhaps one of the easiest ferments to include in your diet and blueberry kefir is a delicious treat.