Since the Coronavirus (COVID-19) has finally reached South African shores, it’s important to do what we can to protect ourselves against colds and flu. These healthy foods will not only keep you fighting fit, but they may even help you to shed a few kilos on the way. Here are the foods you should be eating to give your immune system a boost.
Canned food is nutritious and can be a lifesaver to the busy cook when you’re stuck for what to make for supper on a cold Monday night. A good range of beans and pulses is a must to have on standby, as a portion counts towards your five-a-day, and they’re a good source of protein and fibre. Try chickpeas, cannellini beans, lentils or kidney beans.
When using minced beef or lamb, replace half the meat with brown lentils to increase your intake of vegetable rather than animal protein, which is good for digestive health.
Canned anchovies and sardines are another essential to keep in your pantry. Not only will canned sardines on wholewheat toast give you a meal in five minutes, but it will also add essential fatty acids and calcium, too.
Spices are prized in Ayurvedic medicine for their healing properties, and they’re a great way to add flavour without kilojoules. Try a teaspoon of turmeric in rice or ground coriander in a stew. Buy whole seeds or pods and crush them yourself, as they keep their flavour for longer.
At this time of the year, soup recipes are often the most searched for online. Not surprisingly, either. With the shorter, colder days of winter, soup ticks all the boxes – healthy, delicious, and nutritious. Here’s how to add flavour and a flourish to a basic broth:
- Make it Asian. Add lemongrass, lime leaves, fish sauce, soy sauce, basil or coriander to a simple stock. Add leftover cooked chicken, shredded pak choi, or Chinese greens, plenty of ginger and some cooked brown rice for a low-fat super-soup.
- For a taste of the Middle East, sweat off an onion then stir in ground coriander and cumin, and a pinch of chilli. Now add canned tomatoes, lots of chickpeas and spinach to a simple stock with lots of fresh parsley.
- Lentils make a high-protein, low-fat soup. To a sweated onion, add garlic, ginger, turmeric and cumin. Add the lentils and stock and cook until tender. Blend. Curry leaves will add a taste of Southern India.
- Stir a spoonful of pesto into a bowl of chunky vegetable soup or a spoonful of plain yoghurt for creaminess without the kilojoules.
- A squeeze of lemon or lime juice adds zing and vitamin C and also helps calm down flavours if you’ve added too much chilli.
ALSO SEE: 6 Great Ways To Prevent Colds And Flu
Compiled by Food and Decor Editor, Claire Badenhorst