Essential Ingredients for a Healthy Immune-Supporting Kitchen

This is probably one of my most requested posts from my nutrition clients so today I wanted to share with you my list of top ingredients you should be stocking your kitchen freezer and cupboards with just now, as well as a few key fresh foods, herbs and supplements.

As time goes on during the current pandemic, we may have problems getting some of the fresh stuff we want. Anti oxidants from dark coloured berries are absolutely vital for a fully functioning immune system. Think colours in our diet. Its the key to a wide range of vitamins and minerals needed to keep us in tip top condition to prevent or aid recovery from bacteria and virus’s such as Corona. The more stress we put through our body, whether that be worry and anxiety, exercise, processed foods, alcohol, smoking, sickness or long term use of medication, the more free radicals we will produce. To overcome this and create harmony once more in the body we must match 1 to 1 with antioxidants to stabilise these molecules and make them safe and harmless our cells and DNA.

Important freezer ingredients to stock up on:

  • Berries/ Strawberries - high in antioxidants and vitamin C

  • Banana (peel and store in a container) - great for smoothies or banana bread, reduces waste and high in potassium vital for muscle activation, BP, water retention and kidney function.

  • Broccoli - high in Vit C, K & A for immune function, especially good for respiratory health, the core holds the most benefits.

  • Peas - high in Vit C, K & A, and good for blood sugar control

  • which assists in reducing stress on the system. Ideal for a soup and marries brilliantly with mint which aids digestion and calms the stomach, adding nervous system benefits.

  • Cooked apples – these help calm the gut lining and the nervous system. Freeze in portions to take out and heat for breakfasts or desserts. Serve hot with seeds or granola and cold yoghurt or kefir to add a further gut/ immune busting element with fibre and probiotics.

  • Avocado - add to smoothies for good fats, needed for every metabolic reaction in the body

  • Assortment of coloured veg, green for oxygenation, red for blood and heart.

  • Organic Bones – to make healing and rejuvenating bone broths. Packed with the essential vitamins and minerals in their most absorbable forms to see us through any illness, support immunity and liver health.

  • Niki’s Superfood Raw Cakes & Chocolates! Follow my food workshops next week to know how to make these. Remember, nuts don’t freeze but remain fresh in the freezer!

Important cupboard ingredients to stock up on:

  • Manuka Honey – the higher the ‘Active’ or ‘MGO’ the more powerful the antibiotic properties. Do not heat over 35 degrees as these properties are lost and you are wasting your money! Aim for 25+ at least

  • Cacao powder & cacao nibs - these are a great antioxidant and good for brain health and happiness for the nervous system.

  • Açai berry powder – super high in vitamin C

  • Cranberries & açai berries - high in Vit C.

  • Clear Springs Sea Vegetables or Dried Pulse - high in minerals and antioxidants for healing and immunity. Add to broths, soups, salads and stews.

  • Matcha - huge antioxidant and high in L-theamine to calm the nervous system and promote clarity of the mind.

  • Maca - a natural protein for strength & endurance.

  • Pomegranate Molasses - high in vitamin C, use on salad and in sauces.

  • Coconut oil - contains anti viral properties.

  • Nuts & seeds including cashews (recovery/ relaxation), pumpkin seeds ( healing and immune), Brazil & walnuts (head head & nervous system), chia seeds ( high fibre & anti inflammatory).

  • Nut milks & nut butter - hemp, almond, cashew, oat.

  • Nutritional Yeast - to make vegan cheese, pesto high in b12 essential for brain and heart health.

  • Whole Grains – high in fibre to balance blood sugar and give slow release energy, support gut health and feed good bacteria.

  • Bullion Stock - just extremely useful!!!

Immune Supporting Teas:

  • Nettle tea - for liver support

  • Elderflower, Yarrow & Peppermint – you can call herbalist Caroline Daniels (07736964479) to order this. It is incredible to open the airways and chest. Noticeable improvements in breath immediately and safe for children

  • Echinacea tea – supports immune system safe for kids (avoid with autoimmune disease)

  • Green & matcha teas – powerful antioxidant

  • Turmeric Latte – watch my Facebook live next week for the recipe

  • Camomile – to promote calmness, support nervous and immune health

  • Liquorice – to support adrenals in stressful times