Immune system boosters: great for any time of the year.
Welcome to 2016. Overindulging at Christmas usually has an impact on our health afterwards, and January is a prime time for coughs and colds. This double whammy can leave you feeling under the weather, but as well as cutting down on the booze and getting a few more early nights, you can also help the body to help itself by eating the right foods. This month, &Breathe's GP Dr Rosie Featherby suggests focusing on zinc, which is known for its immune-boosting properties and helps the body respond to infection in a balanced way, preventing over-inflammation. So you can help yourself stave off those runny noses with some delicious, zinc-rich foods. If you fancy reading more about it, check this study out.
To get zinc into your diet, we’ve got some awesome recipe suggestions below, which are, of course, pretty damn tasty too!
Good sources of zinc include beef, chicken and pork, but also chickpeas, kidney beans, cashew nuts, almonds and oats so you have plenty of choice whether you're a carnivore or herbivore.
Spinach & Chickpea Curry
The simplest and yummiest curry you'll ever make! For two people, you'll need:
- 2 x 400g tins of chickpeas
- 250g frozen leaf spinach
- 1 x 400g tin of coconut milk
- 1 x medium onion
- 1 tbsp curry paste (your choice, we like Massaman)
- 1 x lime
- fish sauce to taste
- olive or coconut oil
Then do the following:
- Heat oil in a pan or wok, slice the onion and fry off in the pan with the curry paste for a few minutes to release the flavours;
- Add frozen spinach and turn heat down to medium, once the spinach has started to come apart, add the tin of coconut milk, leave to cook;
- Once spinach is fully soft, add the chick peas, they'll need a few minutes to warm through;
- Add lime and fish sauce to taste (usually about a tablespoon of fish sauce works well);
- Serve and enjoy!
Clio's oaty breakfast
The perfect breakfast bowl, easy to make, lasts all week, yummy and GREAT for you. Put the following in a large bowl, mix, and leave overnight, ready to eat in the morning:
- 500g rolled oats (we prefer non-jumbo as it results in a smoother texture)
- 500ml - 1l liquid (eg apple juice, a milk/yoghurt mix, coconut or other nut milk)
- large handful of raisins
- large handful of almonds or your favourite nut
- 3 tbsp peanut or other nut butter
Depending on your preferred texture, add more or less liquid. The liquid will take about half an hour to an hour to mostly absorb so you can check on its progress.
- You can also experiment with ingredients by adding things like fresh fruit each morning (blueberries work well), honey, vanilla essence, chia seeds, cinammon, ground ginger, fruit compote, other nuts, other dried fruit, raw cacao powder, maca...or anything else that takes your fancy! Keep an eye on the blog for our favourite combinations!
We also love making nut butters (up the smug factor!) and Beth at Tasty Yummies has a really handy guide for first time makers here. Try her version of Nutella for a really good boost of zinc as it's full of both almonds and cashews!