We all want to improve our immune system to help us to stay healthy right now, so we asked our Chef at La Reserva Club Sotogrande to recommend some immune boosting foods. We are lucky here in Spain that the Mediterranean Diet is well known to be very healthy, not to mention delicious, and is rich in vitamins, minerals and good fats. So we’d recommend continuing to follow the principles of the Mediterranean Diet as much as possible and then add in a few of these great foods to give you a boost.
Now it’s over to our Executive Chef, Javier Rebollo for his recommendations.
“We are currently in citrus season and Spain is one of the main producers of oranges, which are a brilliant form of Vitamin C – just one orange contains all your daily dose. But these citrus fruits offer even more than that! The citric acid which is present in oranges, mandarins, lemons and other citrus fruits is also known to eliminate toxins, reinforce our defences and regulate cholesterol.
So make the most of these fruits at this time of year when they are at their best. Enjoy orange segments as a snack, or freshly squeezed juice, add lemon to your cooking and to dress vegetables and salads, add a slice of lime to drinks, or a squeeze to pep up your dishes. Delicious, versatile and really helpful to boost your immune system.
Garlic is a great food for your health. It improves blood circulation, it is a natural antibiotic, purifies and detoxifies our bodies and helps with the treatment of liver diseases. It contains antioxidants, is a good decongestant, is highly nutritious and boosts the function of the immune system. So garlic is definitely a good thing to be eating right now, not to mention really delicious.
Most health benefits can be gained from using garlic raw, so we’d suggest using it in salads and cold soups such as gazpacho, or in sauces such as salsa and guacamole. However, cooked garlic is also great for you, so try the traditional Sopa de Ajo and use liberally in sauces, soups, pasta and even adding to mashed potatoes for extra taste and nutrition.
Last but not least, we’d recommend ginger for its health benefits. While certainly not traditional in a Mediterranean Diet, it is growing in its popularity and easy to find in most supermarkets now. It has been used in Chinese Medicine for centuries for its ability to help digestion, reduce nausea and help fight the flu and common cold. It has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties and has been shown to help with respiratory illnesses, arthritis, diabetes and also in weight loss.
You can enjoy ginger and its many benefits by making a ginger tea with honey and lemon. Simply cut up some chunks of fresh ginger, add boiling water and let it steep to release the flavour and the goodness. Stir in honey and lemon and it is a really delicious and comforting drink, especially when you’re feeling unwell. You can also cook with it in Asian inspired dishes, nutritious soups and bake delicious sweet treats.
These are my recommended immune boosting foods which have a range of health benefits and are easy to get this time of year. Here’s a delicious and healthy recipe featuring several of these great ingredients and packed with nutrition and flavour.