Nutrition and health - Try diversity of foods to boost immune system

It seems there is currently lots of information in the media about how we can support our immune system.

Thursday, 4th June 2020, 3:59 pm
Karen Brooks.

When people ask me what supplements they should be taking, I always direct them to what matters most – the food they are eating!

Taking supplements is not the best way to support your immune system if you don’t have the foundations in place of eating healthily.

So what does that actually mean? One of the key ideas is FOOD DIVERSITY.

Colourful food.

Many people, myself included, get into the habit of eating the same meals over again – this is not the best way to eat.

There is a lot of research showing the benefits of eating a wide variety of foods to support health, and wherever possible, avoid processed foods.

Food diversity, particularly from plants, provides us with a broad variety of vitamins and minerals as well as powerful plant chemicals called “phytonutrients”.

Eating from all plant groups – vegetables, fruit, wholegrains, herbs and spices, nuts and seeds is also a great way of nurturing your gut microbes – which is another key to good health.

Some tips on how to increase plant diversity:

l Eat the rainbow!

Eat veg/fruit of all colours to get a broad range of nutrients

l Include herbs and spices in your meals.

l Aim for at least three plant foods in each meal

l Try a few new plant foods every week – move out of your food comfort zone!

l If you are feeding fussy eaters, “hide” more plant foods in sauces/smoothies

l Get the children involved – challenge them to see how many colours and different plant foods they can eat each week.

Challenge yourself to aim for 50 unique plant foods in a week.

If you would like a copy of my 50-food seven-day challenge, visit my website www.karenbrooks.co.uk/contact and leave a 
message.