These strange times in the midst of a second lockdown means that many of us are now working and spending a lot more time at home again for the foreseeable future. With more uncertainty in our lives, we have had to adapt our routines yet again, leading to feelings of anxiety and stress, and the first thing which usually changes in our routine is our eating habits. If our social media feeds are anything to go by, the majority of us have been making countless trips to the kitchen to curb our anxiety and boredom with some comfort eating.
Looking after our immune system has never been more important and it’s essential to ensure our bodies are functioning at optimal health to fight off infections and disease. A weak immune system can not only affect our overall health but our mental health too. When we are stressed or anxious, we normally have a tendency to reach for comfort foods, usually sugar and processed foods, such as cake, biscuits, crisps and chocolate, lacking in nutrients and vitamins.
Eating healthily can support immunity and it’s much easier plan ahead with varied snacks and meals so we spoke to nutritionist, Alice Godfrey, for her top 5 foods to support the immune system:
The lowest in sugar of the fruits and loaded with antioxidants which help fight free radicals.
A combination of cabbage and friendly bacteria. Green vegetables are a hugely important part of the diet and especially for our defences and more good bacteria for our gut contributes to our immune system.
Wonderful for heart health, high in minerals and great fibre. These aren’t just a cheap meat replacement for vegetarians, they are a superfood!
A high protein breakfast will give you lasting energy and raise your blood sugar gradually. Eggs are an amazing superfood, stuffed full of nutrients. (Hard-boiled eggs are also great snacks).
5. Oily fish
Sardines, mackerel and salmon (even out of a tin) are high in omega 3 fats which are anti-inflammatory and essential for brain health.
If you're interested in improving your snacking habits, why not try Alice's 'Smarter snacking in 5 days' challenge here.