We know that by eating a diet full of healthy low carb real food we can improve our health. Many of our members have put Type 2 Diabetes into remission, reduced High Blood Pressure and seen countless more health benefits to eating this way. No matter how healthy we are though, we could all do with a boost now and then, and especially during flu season.
The good news is some of the best ways to boost your immune system is by eating fresh foods full of vitamins, as we advocate on Simple As Fat. Read on to discover what you can eat to keep yourself fighting fit.
1. Red Peppers
The first food that most of us turn to when we feel a cold coming on is citrus fruits with their Vitamin C. But did you know that red peppers contain twice as much vitamin C than citrus? They also have a lower sugar content, so they’re a far better option for those of us eating low carb. Roast them whole stuffed with Lamb and Feta, slice them up in one of our Fajita recipes or chop them into our Low Carb Chilli Con Carne, where we replace the carb heavy beans with extra peppers. To really get your pepper fill try our Roasted Red Pepper Soup with Mascarpone.
We love broccoli on Simple As Fat. Not only is it a naturally low carb option, it’s also chocked full of Vitamins A, C and E. We have a lot of great low carb broccoli recipes, from our Broccoli and Stilton Soup, to our Chorizo and Broccoli Fry-Up. But the best way to get all of those vitamins and antioxidants in your system is to eat it raw, as in our Green Caesar Salad recipe.
Spinach is full of Vitamin C and other immune boosting antioxidants. Like broccoli, it’s best eaten raw or cooked as little as possible. We like to add a handful to our Fry-Ups, cook it gently with garlic and cream to make a delicious Creamed Spinach side dish or we use it as a raw base to top with anything from Ragu to our famous Sausage Meatballs.
Mushrooms are packed with antioxidants that are good for your immune system. They’re a great thing to add to your Fry-Up or your Steak as it’s cooking. We also have a great Chicken and Mushroom Soup recipe and Bun-Free Blue Cheese Mushroom Burger Stack.
Garlic is widely recognised as an immune-boosting super food – Simple As Fat’s Lisa always swore by chewing a raw garlic clove to get rid of a sore throat! On Simple As Fat we put it in a lot of our dishes, but one of our favourite dishes is also one of our most garlicky: our Chilli Lemon Garlic Lamb Chops.
Ginger is another well-known superfood that can give a boost to your immune system. We recommend it as part of our sugar-free sore throat remedy (you’d be surprised how many medicines have taken Mary Poppins’ ‘spoonful of sugar’ recommendation seriously!). We also use it in a variety of recipes from our Low Carb Fish Cakes, to our Marinated Lamb Leg Steaks, Thai Prawn Curry, and Slow Roast Pork Belly.
In recent years turmeric has become a worldwide superfood, but it’s been used for centuries in Ayuvedic treatments in the east. We use it in our Indian style dishes, in our Curries with Lamb, Chicken and Fish, in our Spicy Cauliflower Soup and in one of our favourite breakfasts, our Feel Good Scrambled Eggs.
Yoghurts are a great source of Vitamin D and those that contain ‘live cultures’ are also great for your immune system. The yoghurt we recommend eating on Simple As Fat is Greek Yoghurt, for its low carb content, but it also usually contains live cultures. Topped with Berries it can be a great breakfast, snack or dessert, or try it with our Golden Granola for a great start to your morning.
Almonds are great immune booster, they are high in Vitamin E and also high in healthy fats, which is good because Vitamin E needs to be consumed with fat in order for our bodies to use it. This is good news for those of us that eat low carb as ground almonds are a great keto flour substitute. We use them in everything from our Low Carb Pancakes, to our Cheesy Breakfast Muffins and our Keto Brownies. You can even use them to make Low Carb Scotch Eggs!
Citrus like lemons, limes and oranges are high in Vitamin C, but also in sugar unfortunately. The best way to up your citrus intake on a low carb diet is to add a slice and squeeze of lemon, lime or orange to your water, whether you have it hot or cold is up to you!
Berries are a low carb fruit that are still pretty high in Vitamin C. When eating keto you can eat strawberries, blackberries and raspberries. Eat them on their own for a snack or whip up one of our low sugar desserts with them instead, like our Raspberry Ice Cream or Low Sugar Trifle.
12. Green tea
Green tea is packed with EGCG, which is known to enhance the immune system. It’s just one of the tea’s advantages, and a great excuse to avoid milk in your hot drinks, which is full of carbs. Take a look at our article – What Can I Drink?
There’s a reason your mum used to give you chicken soup when you were sick. Poultry is high in Vitamin B-6, which is good for your immune system. We have loads of great chicken recipes, from a classic Roast, to Keto Coq Au Vin, Creamy Casseroles, Curry and even Hot Wings, to name just a few.
Shellfish like crabs, lobster, clams and mussels are high in Zinc, which is key to keeping your immune system in tip top condition, but beware that too much can have the opposite effect! Every once in a while that’s why we enjoy one of our shellfish dishes like Creamy Mussels or our Keto Fish Pie.
15. Dark Chocolate
It sounds too good to be true, but dark chocolate contains an antioxidant called theobromine, which is believed to boost the immune system. A square of dark chocolate is a nice occasional treat, but if you’re looking for something more we have everything from Sugar-Free Chocolate Mousse, to Keto Brownies and Low Carb Chocolate Peanut Bars and Bounty-style chocolate coconut Bites.
Although we know that the food we eat plays a big part in our health, there are a few other ways we can also boost our immune systems, these include staying well hydrated by drinking plenty of water, making sure you get lots of sleep, taking regular gentle exercise like walking, and limiting our alcohol consumption. All of which we recommend on Simple As Fat anyway to live our best and healthiest lives!
Let us know if you have any other keto-friendly tips to boost your immune system.