Every year as we approach the Chinese New Year season, just about everyone i know is either sick, going to be sick or is trying not to be sick. We blame it on bad weather (strong cold breezy wind one min and the next the glaring hot sun is killing us softly with its heat).
While some of us do get sick, others who doesn’t seems to have the random luck.. you can increase your family’s odds by fuelling up on some superfood that primes the body to fight for your immunity.
We are all aware that a balance diet is important and nothing pains a parent more but to see their child catching an infectious disease. While i do my best to take care of the family’s nutritional needs i believe in including food that contains nutrients to boosting the immune system be it the Western or the Asian approach.
Here are my top 10 favourite Power food that helps me and my family with the immunity boosting.
I have and will always be a vegetable lover. It is loaded with nutrients, antioxidants, vitamins essentials to help boost our immunity. Consuming vegetables such as cabbage, broccoli, spinach, tomatoes and any other leafy greens helps us to combat any form of infections naturally. Although it may be challenging, i believe kids especially should be persuaded to consume all vegetables as they work to strengthen the body’s immune system.
“To build immunity in kids give them macronutrients like proteins including milk protein, ovo protein as eggs and animal protein,” advises Dr. S Yamuna, Chennai-based consultant paediatrician. Alternatively, for vegetarians, there are also a general list of high protein vegetables such as tofu, beans, chickpea and more that also contains a great source of protein.
As we already know, yogurt strengthens the intestinal tract and prevents gastrointestinal illnesses. Filled with probiotics of good bacteria, it helps to combat the bad bacteria in the body to prevent stomach infections. For the kids any myself, instead of ice-cream… yogurt is our favourite must haves as a snack or upon completion of our meal (like a dessert.. with a couple of favourite fruits dressed on top)
Garlic + Ginger + Onions
It is fairly common in asian cooking to include these power packed immunity booster in many of our dishes. Did you know it is known to have antiviral and antibacterial properties that has active compounds to promote the immune system. It is known to helps prevent cancer, aids digestions and aids gastritis at bay. Furthermore, it is also known to help combat cold and flu symptoms.
One of my favourite yet fastest/easiest snack where i usually use as a topping to our yogurt or a little something for the mouth while watching the movies. A handful of nuts is usually practiced as the on the go kind of food/snack to have to munch at odd hours. It is known to contain a whole lot of proteins, minerals, and vitamins and they are also rich in antioxidants such as omega fatty acids, zinc, and Vitamin E.
This is probably one of my children’s top favourite to have with their rice/porridge. It’s soft and easy to chew plus it helps build immune system and it is known to do amazing wonders to our working brain. It contains Omega-3 fatty acids as well as other healthy fats, a must to increase the activity levels of body cells. Fatty fish like salmon and tuna are usually our favourite options. 🙂
Who doesn’t like fruits? My kids are simply fanatics when i offer them a fruit. Its sweet, high in fiber, antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. I have yet to come across a child that doesn’t eat fruits willingly. There are some with exquisite taste which accepts only a limited kind of fruits but apples, bananas, mangoes, berries, peaches, melons, grapes and more all does the miracle wonder of having many hidden benefits that helps aids with the immunity. It is known that the deeper the colour of the fruit the better benefits it brings. So whether the child only likes a particular fruit, it doesn’t really matter so long as they do consume some.
It contains many antibacterial properties and antioxidants that transform itself into a powerful immunity booster yet so easy to consume. You can drink it with warm water, spread it on your toast, oatmeal or even yogurt. Sometimes, i stir it into my lemon tea to help soothe sore throats and improve digestions.
According to Chinese theory root vegetables like sweet potatoes, carrots and potatoes are good to improve the immune strengthening while it works on specific respiratory system. I usually make soup broths with these and include them into my children’s meal (usually with noodles, pasta or even to drink the soup itself with rice).
It is not hard to adhere wholegrain into our asian family lifestyle as we already consume rice on a regular basis. However, wholegrain rice is always preferred as known to be high in fibre and better nutritional intake for the body. Children needs at least 2 to 3 servings of whole grain foods per day (at least half of their grain servings should be whole grain if possible). For school-aged children, one whole-grain serving equals a slice of whole-grain bread, 1 cup of ready-to-eat whole-grain cereal, or 1/2 cup of cooked brown rice or whole-wheat pasta.