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Immune boosting foods

Written by Liz Wakefield

1st November 2020

We created the immune boost gourmet box in May 2020 following a bit of research into foods that help to fight against disease and infection by strengthening the immune system.

As we enter a second lockdown, we thought we’d share our hitlist of foods to choose if you want to boost your gut health and immune system, both of which are linked. The list isn’t exhaustive, but it gives you a clear idea of the types of food to include in your diet:

Vitamin C – citrus fruits, blackcurrants, berries, melon, red peppers, leafy greens, broccoli.

Zinc – nuts, seeds, wheatgerm, Quorn, All Bran, beef, oysters, crab, lamb, pork, pot barley.

Vitamin A – carrots, squash, chard, sweet potatoes, spinach, kale, leafy greens, mango, cantaloupe melon, broccoli, tomato.

Vitamin B – whole grains, yeast extract, meat, nuts, seeds, low-fat dairy products, tuna, other fish, lentils and other pulses, leafy green veg.

Vitamin E – wheatgerm oil, sunflower oil, polyunsaturated spread, sunflower seeds, corn oil, pine nuts, sweet potato, advocado, museli, chickpeas, brazil nuts, hazelnuts, almonds, squash, kale, salmon, tuna.

Selenium – nuts (especially brazil nuts & walnuts), lentils, tuna and other oily fish, swordfish, cod, sole, mussels, wholemeal bread, sunflower seeds.

Anti-oxidents – garlic, thyme, onions, ginger, black and green tea.

Supplements aren’t really necessary if your diet is balanced and includes the above, but zinc and echinacea supplements are considered helpful when trying to boost your immune system.

So what’s in our immune-boosting box?

We wanted to find the right balance between wonderful artisan products that are both healthy and delicious. Here’s what we chose and why:

Sussex grass-fed beef bresaola – lean, high-protein and packed with zinc and B vitamins, we naturally cure our beef with hand-harvested, sustainable sea salt, herbs and spices, so it’s additive-free.

Responsibly farmed oak smoked salmon – rich in heart-healthy Omega-3; a good source of vitamins B and E, and selenium, we prefer salmon that’s free from antibiotics, growth hormones or synthetic pigmentation.

Sage & almond pesto – sage is a fascinating herb, with an impressive list of properties and associated impacts. According to a US study sage is a natural remedy for pain relief, protecting the body against oxidative stress, bacterial and viral infection. Studies in Asia and the Middle East suggest there is scope to develop new treatments for numerous serious, life-threatening diseases such as depression, dementia, obesity, diabetes, lupus, heart disease, and cancer.

Almonds are rich in vitamins B and E, zinc and selenium. Selenium is an essential trace element that is vital for DNA synthesis, and protection from oxidative damage and infection.

Virgin cold-pressed Kentish cobnut oil – cobnuts are an ancient, natural and nutritious cultivated hazelnut, larger than the norm, traditionally grown in Kent. Cholesterol-free and packed with flavour, protein and vitamins B & E, this oil is prized by chefs and nutritionists alike.

Sussex cider vinegar – unpasteurised apple cider vinegar containing ‘the mother’…. the cloudy element to this otherwise perfect tawny nectar and a natural protein that contains gut-healthy bacteria. It can improve digestion, support your immune system and relieve a cough.

Single source, unpasteurised wildflower honey – honey is naturally anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory. It contains hydrogen peroxide (a by-product of pollen synthesis) which can heal wounds and improve gastric problems. Studies have proven its ability to ease a cough or respiratory infection better than medicines. And it is also speculated that honey can help fight cancer and cardiovascular disease.

If you want to treat someone to a foodie gift or give them a lift during lockdown, you can do no better that this original artisan hamper. We deliver next day by courier nationwide, with free delivery in and around Brighton and Hove.

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