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    Make These 4 Low-Calorie Cocktails If You’re Watching Your Weight

    Mention the word ‘cocktails’ and you’re instantly transported to a happy place, probably along the coast with good company while someone plays guitar and sings to you at sunset. What. A. Dream. Even better? The addition of low-calorie cocktails into this already delish dream world…

    No matter if you’re counting calories, watching your weight or just want to drink more mindfully, we’ve got you covered with some seriously yummy drinks. We turned to award-winning mixologist Roxanne Read and spoke to her about her favourite low-calorie cocktails. Ready, steady… Treat yo’self.

    READ MORE: The 27 Best Wines For Any Occasion You Can Imagine

    4 Low-Calorie Cocktails You Really Need To Try Like… Now

    Zesty Aperol Spritz

    Roxanne Read

    Approximate calorie count: A serving of Aperol Spritz only amounts to 125 calories. Nice.Aperol aperitif is made from herbs such as gentian, rhubarb and cinchona, which are rich in antioxidants. Bonus: This cocktail is also garnished and infused with vitamin C-rich oranges.

    Prep Time 2 mins

    Course DrinksCuisine Healthy, Italian

    Servings 1 personCalories 125 kcal

    50ml Cinzano Pro-Spritz50ml AperolSoda Water
    Pour 50ml Cinzano Pro-Spritz into an ice-filled glass.Add Aperol in equal measure and top off with a splash of soda.Finishing touches: 50/50 splash and garnish with a slice of orange.

    Keyword cocktail, healthy

    Watermelon Sparkling Spritz

    Roxanne Read

    Approximate calorie count: 110 caloriesThe secret to this drink is to get the natural sugars out of the watermelon juice, says Roxanne. The riper, the better. “Watermelon juice is rich in nutrients and is a perfect option for fasting, cleansing and dieting and contains a great dose of electrolytes per serving,” she says. Champagne is a low-calorie beverage, due to its production process where most of the natural sugars are removed and no additional flavouring is added.

    Prep Time 5 mins

    Course DrinksCuisine Healthy

    Servings 1 personCalories 110 kcal

    20 ml Vodka (the more distilled the vodka, the less impurities)60 ml Fresh-pressed watermelon juice80 ml Sparkling brut wine (opt for a light sparkling wine to reduce the calorie count even further)
    Pick an almost over-ripe watermelon, then cut it into chunks to fill one cup.Put into a blender and add about a 1/2 cup of water. Flash blend the mixture, and strain out the pulp and the pips.Next, take your Champagne glass out of the fridge and add the vodka and watermelon juice together.Top up with Champagne.

    Keyword cocktail, healthy

    READ MORE: These Three Drinks Will Make Bloating A Thing Of The Past

    Blueberry Mojito

    Roxanne Read

    Approximate calorie count: 130 caloriesLimes are good for weight loss because of the citric acid — a metabolism booster. “Mint is a huge flavour contributor with less than a calorie in a 100g serving, so the more the merrier,” says Roxanne. Blueberries are key to making this drink! “Berries are great for regulating the fat-burning gene, as well as lowering high blood pressure,” says Roxanne.

    Prep Time 3 mins

    Course DrinksCuisine Healthy

    Servings 1 PersonCalories 130 kcal

    6-8 Lime wedges8 Mint leaves25 ml White rum1/4 cup BlueberriesSoda water
    Lightly muddle the lime wedges into the glass you’re going to serve the drink in.Clap the mint leafs in your hands to release the flavour. Drop them in the glass and muddle again.Add the rum and blueberries and fill the glass 3/4 of the way with crushed ice.Using a long-handled spoon or bar spoon, stir the mixture until your glass is almost filled with dilution from the crushed ice.Top with soda water if needed.Garnish with a mint sprig and a couple of blueberries sprinkled on top.

    Keyword cocktail, healthy

    READ MORE: You Need To Try These 13 Simple Mocktails ASAP

    Vodka Fizz

    Roxanne Read

    Approximate calorie count: 98-100 calories”My preferred fruit combination is kiwi slices, fresh strawberries and grapefruit slices. Any fruits will work on this, but it’s best to try have at least one citrus fruit. Citrus is great for your body and for bringing out the flavours in the vodka,” says Roxanne.

    Course DrinksCuisine Healthy

    Servings 1 PersonCalories 100 kcal

    40 ml Premium vodka1/4 can Flavoured tonic water1/2 can Soda waterAssortment of freshly cut fruit8 Basil leaves
    First half fill the glass with ice cubes, then add the vodka.You can use any fruit you have in the fridge. Slice up about four pieces of three different kinds of fruit.Clap the basil leaves in your hand to release the flavour and drop into the glass.Add a splash of tonic, just for flavour depth, and top with the soda water.If you want to get really fancy, add a crack of black pepper.

    Keyword cocktail, healthy

    3 Pantry Staples To Keep On Hand

    Low-calorie cocktails never have to be bland. These pantry staples will upgrade any old boring spirit and mixer combo. Thank us later!

    A great source of vitamin C. You’ll get blackcurrants, blueberries, strawberries, goji berries and cranberries. Yum!

    No sugar, no gluten, no calories and no carbs. These drops also have no artificial sweeteners. Great for your bag. We love it!

    Pomegranates have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits. They’re also good for blood pressure levels and heart health.

    Want more? You can Follow Roxanne Read’s work over on Instagram.

    Women’s Health participates in various affiliate marketing programmes, which means we may get commissions on editorially chosen products purchased through our links to retailer sites. More

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    This Basic Nut Butter Recipe Is So Easy, You’ll Never Buy PB Again

    It’s easier than you think to make nut butter. Master this basic nut butter recipe and you’ll never have to eat store-bought again. Plus, store your nut butters in a jar or airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks!

    Nut butters are loaded with heart-healthy fats that keep your bad cholesterol in check while heightening your good cholesterol. They’re also rich in selenium, which keeps your thyroid going and can be a good source of protein, depending on which nuts you use. Nut butters are a stellar source of fibre, phosphorous, B vitamins, vitamin E, and zinc.

    Get your nut butter basics here:

    Bosch 800W Food Processor

    Chop, grate and blend seamlessly with this powerful food processor.

    Raw Macadamia Nuts

    Simply chow on these for trace minerals and energy or blend them into a silky, delicious nut butter.

    Avocado Oil

    Drizzle this over salads, or use in your cooking. And of course, when using this nut butter recipe.

    Basic Nut Butter Recipe

    Master this basic formula, and you’ll never have to eat store-bought again.

    Cook Time 20 mins

    Course Side Dish, SnackCuisine American

    2 cups raw unsalted shelled nuts0.25 tsp kosher salt1 tsp avocado oil as needed
    Spread nuts on rimmed baking sheet; bake at 350°F until toasted and fragrant, about 10 min.Transfer nuts to a dry food processor and process, scraping down sides occasionally, until nuts turn into smooth paste, 4 to 10 min. (Timing will vary based on type of nuts and your specific food processor.)Add salt and flavor boosters and process until smooth. If butter is too thick, add oil 1 tsp. at a time until desired consistency is reached.

    Keyword nut butter

    Wanna try more recipes?

    This recipe This Basic Nut Butter Recipe Is So Easy, You’ll Never Buy PB Again appeared first on Women’s Health. More

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    Race Fuel: Exactly What You Should Eat And Drink For A Better Race

    When it comes to race fuel, it’s easy to think just your training should take you over the finish line. But for endurance feats, you need a little food to give your tank more power.

    Raeesa Solwa Mehtar, a biokineticist and running coach, has run multiple marathons, ultra-marathons and several half marathons. Here’s her advice on race fuel; what to eat and drink during the race — plus, what to avoid.

    “Personally, I’d say ditch the gels,” says Raeesa. “Do you feel that energy gels make you feel nauseous, sick or give you stomach issues? I know I do. I’ve run four marathons (all under four hours), one ultra (under six hours) and a couple half marathons and did not use any form of energy gels.” Instead, Raeesa fuels up on real food. “Whole food solubles can easily provide the nutrition and electrolytes needed for long-distance endurance efforts,” she says. Here are her go-to strategies for race fuel that’ll get you across the finish line feeling strong. 

    1. Drink lots of water leading up to race day.

    Your body needs to be thoroughly hydrated on the day of the race. “I usually have small sips of water during the race,” says Raeesa. Per experts, you should drink about two cups of water two hours before your run, then stay hydrated during the run, too. Go with your sweat as an indicator. Sweat is water loss from the body that needs to be replaced, so keep hydrating along with the rate at which you sweat.

    2. Eat a good race-day brekkie.

    “On the morning of the race, I have the same type of meal that I would normally have for breakfast, which is a smoothie,” says Raeesa. “You need to practise your pre-race meal strategy during training. The stomach needs to be trained to handle food during a long run.”

    One Co Ready-To-Drink Smoothie Box

    This selection of healthy, ready-to-go smoothies offers three different flavours in a compact bottle that you can stash in your bike kit or have before and after the race to fuel up.

    3. Replace your body’s electrolytes. 

    After the first 10 kilometres in a race, you need to start replacing electrolytes. “I sip on any form of energy drink, but you could also opt for coconut water, which will provide natural energy, potassium and magnesium,” says Raeesa. Electrolytes could also come from small amounts of food containing salt and sugars, like nuts.

    4. Go bananas!

    Bananas are one of the best energy sources you can have as a runner. They’re a good source of carbs and help prevent cramps. Supporters usually hand out bananas on the side of the road, so grab one.

    5. Pack some padkos.

    “Dates are easy to chew and are higher in sugar and carbs compared to other dried fruit – they’re one of my favourite pre-race snacks,” says Raeesa. “Though certainly not an all-natural, real food, gummy bears or jelly beans contain fast-digesting simple sugars, which will reach the bloodstream quickly, giving you a boost when you need it. Honey may just be nature’s version of a sports gel.”

    You can also make little oat balls as snacks and carry them for homemade, healthy fuel.

    Tropical Mix Snacking Bundle

    Combine these into a delish snack mix or pick and choose the ones you’d like to much on.

    Nanuki Boom Bar Seismic Crunch

    This bar, loaded with sunflower seeds and healthy cornflakes, makes for great race fuel.

    OhMega Macadamia Butter

    Choc-o-block with micronutrients and healthy fats, this delicious snack will keep you going for longer.

    Check out Raeesa’s running woman’s workout for killer abs:

    [embedded content]

    6. Don’t skip the taters.

    A baked potato wedges stand during a marathon or ultra race is like approaching an all-you-can-eat candy stand in the running world. They’re not the easiest things to carry (ew…mashed potato pocket!) but if you come across a stand along the road, grab some munchies for a hit of minerals and sustained energy.

    7. No surprises. 

    Be sure to test these new foods on training runs instead of during a race – just in case your stomach doesn’t react well to them while exercising (#totesawks). If gels do work for you, then, by all means, use them properly: drink enough water, train with gels months before, try different brands to see what suits you best and wash them down with water. More

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    “I Drank Kombucha Every Day For 10 Days — It Was Amazing”

    When I first told the Women’s Health team I wanted to drink kombucha every day, half said “yum” and the other half said “yuck”. It’s just one of those things – you either love it or you hate it. But its health benefits proceed it. So with my fridge stocked, the challenge began. This was going to be good…

    Hold Up, What Is Kombucha?

    For those poor souls who haven’t yet heard about kombucha and its magical powers, here’s the low-down. The exact origin of this mystical drink is not known, although it’s been narrowed down to Asia (naturally). It’s been around for about 2000 years – but the hipsters made it famous.

    Kombucha is basically fermented black or green tea. Add sugar to kick-start fermentation, then a SCOBY or “tea fungus” to complete the process. It’s best to get one of these white mushroomy masses from a supplier (hipster dealers) as culturing one by yourself can be dangerous.

    A SCOBY is a symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast that feeds on the sugar content in the tea. This whole process takes about two weeks and you’ll end up with a fizzy, tangy beverage. As a by-product of fermentation, kombucha does contain traces of alcohol – like, 0.5 per cent, so nothing to write home about. It’s also slightly caffeinated. The process might sound funky, but trust me, the drink is good.

    But Why Would You Drink It?

    I know, I know, a mushroom fizzy drink doesn’t exactly sound appetising, but give it a try. Here are just some health benefits…

    First off, kombucha is rich in probiotics, which help to create a balance in your gut. They can help with digestion, bloating and a whole range of ghastly gut-related issues. Even weight loss! Kombucha also contains antioxidants, which fight free radicals in the body. Basically, they prevent or delay cell damage. And among these antioxidants are vitamins B1, B6 and B12 to improve your immune system. Cheerio winter cold!

    But beware: there is that “too much of a good thing” problem. Too much kombucha can lead to your gut being a little more active than you’d like. So try to stick to one bottle a day. That’s what I did and here is my experience…

    My Experience With The ‘Tea Of Life’

    Like I said, my fridge was packed with all the kombucha I’d need for this “experiment”. Ready for that detox and healthy gut, I packed my first bottle for work the next day. I gym first thing in the mornings, then it’s off to the office for brekkie and my usual coffee. But for these 10 days, kombucha came first. What? Cally replaced coffee with kombucha!? Yes, miracles do happen, and let me tell you, if you want to give up coffee, this is an excellent way to start. The rumours are true. The natural energy lift the man-bun movement claims to experience is real. What a great way to start the day: sipping kombucha while checking the morning mail.

    Then the next miracle happened. My period. No, that’s not the miracle – the lack of period pain was, though. I was impressed, to say the least. In fact, looking back, my stomach was very well-behaved the whole time – even after some late-night binging on nachos (my go-to snack). So the sceptic (me) is convinced of another health benefit. Perhaps this really is the tea of life.

    The 10 days flew by and on the 11th it was with tears in my eyes that I opened my trusty lunchbox to find it kombucha-less. I’m back on coffee with breakfast and back to my usual self. In all honesty, I can’t admit to finding my skin more glowy or sudden moments of enlightened being. But, truthfully, I do plan to include a whole lot more kombucha in my life. And my body will thank me for it.

    Our top kombuchas to try:

    Fermented Rooibos Tea

    Naturally sweetened, this kombucha delivers a tangy taste.

    Happy Culture Ginger & Lemon Kombucha

    Zingy lemon and ginger complement the natural sharpness of ‘booch.

    CultureLab Lemongrass Kombucha

    Green tea and lemongrass go together swimmingly in this zesty drink.

    Women’s Health participates in various affiliate marketing programmes, which means we may get commissions on editorially chosen products purchased through our links to retailer sites. More

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    8 Benefits Of Gherkin Juice That Will Make You Want To Drink Some ASAP

    Everyone loves a good gherkin (my deepest condolences to the wayward taste buds out there that can’t appreciate them).

    However, since gherkins are the stars of the jar, too often the juice — you know the stuff responsible for turning your everyday cucumber into crunchy, sour goodness — gets tossed out and forgotten. But not today. Today, gherkin juice will get the credit it so rightfully deserves.

    After all, the simple liquid packs tons of benefits that nutritionists say you need to take advantage of as soon as the last gherkin is gone. So yes, consider this your excuse to buy another jar of gherkins, stat. You’re welcome.

    1. It’s a next-level source of hydration.

    “Gherkin juice contains [sodium], potassium, and water, which are all important for hydration,” says Alyssa Lavy, a registered dietician. And while water usually does the trick, if you need replenishment after a super hard workout or long day in the sun, electrolytes (a blanket term for good-for-you minerals, including sodium and potassium) can help. And that’s where gherkin juice’s all-in-one status comes in clutch.

    Lavy says approximately 45 to 90ml of gherkin juice per day should suffice—whether you’re drinking the stuff straight or diluting it with water to tone down the flavour.

    That said, gherkin juice doesn’t skimp on the sodium—90 ml (or six tablespoons) has 690 mg. “So, you may want to limit your intake if you’re watching sodium in your diet or already eating a high-sodium diet.” (FYI, the FDA recommends consuming 2,300 milligrams a day.)

    Here’s the rest of the gherkin juice’s nutrient lineup, in a 90 ml serving, according to the USDA:

    Calories: 15

    Protein: 0 g

    Fat: 0 g

    Carbohydrates: 3 g

    Sodium: 690 mg

    READ MORE: 8 Foods With High Water Content, For Maximum Hydration

    Water is typically all you’ll need before and during a workout, but if you’re really going hard (like, athlete-level), you’ll need a few more of those aforementioned electrolytes. And gherkin juice is THE recovery fluid for replenishing the electrolytes lost during a major sweat session. Plus, it can even help with post-workout muscle cramping.

    3. It’s loaded with probiotics.

    Gherkin juice is here to work magic on your gut. Okay, well not magic necessarily, but since gherkins are fermented, Lavy says, they’re packing tons of probiotics.

    That said, Lavy recommends keeping an eye on the labels of store-bought jars. Some “commercially-produced gherkins are not likely to contain probiotics, due to processing.” That’s because, in order to extend their shelf-life, they’re manufactured using vinegar and heat, which typically destroys the gut-loving active cultures. So, keep an eye out for vinegar on the ingredients list, it might clue you in on whether those particular gherkins are packing probiotics.

    Or, if you’re really dedicated, you could just pickle your cucumbers right at home. (Just be sure to go for a classic pickling recipe that involves salt, water, and cucumbers—no vinegar.)

    4. It will satisfy your salt craving.

    If you find yourself reaching for a bag of chips or pretzels when that 3 p.m. hunger pang hits, Monica Auslander Moreno, founder of Essence Nutrition, says gherkin juice might just be the nutrient-dense (and tasty) alternative you’re looking for. After all, it tastes just like the gherkins that were once inside the jar.

    READ MORE: Salt-Free Ways to Flavour Your Food

    5. It helps regulate blood sugar levels.

    While gherkin juice made with vinegar may not have probiotic benefits, it does come with its own perks. “ Gherkin juice may help regulate blood sugar levels,” says Kelli McGrane, a registered dietician for Lose It!. “Studies have shown that when consumed prior to a meal, individuals with type 2 diabetes had reduced blood sugar spikes.” And though the vinegar in gherkin juice is largely responsible for improving the body’s response to insulin, I probably don’t need to convince you a shot of vinegar tastes a lot better when it’s masked by the sweet and sour flavours of a gherkin.

    6. It’s a source of vitamins and antioxidants.

    Gherkin juice is a particularly good source of vitamins A and E. It also contains a trace amount of antioxidants, which help protect your body and its cells from harmful molecules. While other foods have higher concentrations of antioxidants (gherkin juice shouldn’t be your go-to source), if you’re already drinking the stuff, know you’re reaping these benefits, too.

    7. You can use it to pickle more veggies.

    If you’re not planning on tossing a straw into your gherkin jar, Moreno suggests using the brine to pickle other vegetables such as carrots, peppers, and beets.

    READ MORE: Um, People On TikTok Are Eating The Peels Of Fruit & Veggies – And They’re So Good

    8. It’s cost-effective.

    Since gherkin juice comes with the gherkins you were planning to eat anyway, this probiotic-packed sports drink is super cost-effective. Not to mention, it helps do your part to eliminate food waste (one of the underrated benefits of gherkin juice). Win, win.

    *Words: Aryelle Siclait

    *This article was originally published on Women’s Health US  More

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    These Pistachio Energy Balls Are The Perfect Snack

    Are you tired of the same old snacks that leave you feeling sluggish and unsatisfied? Look no further than these delicious and nutritious Pistachio Energy Balls! Packed with protein, fibre, and healthy fats, these energy balls are the perfect snack to keep you fueled and satisfied throughout the day. Not only are they amazeballs, but they’re also incredibly easy to make.

    Per ball: 86 cal, 6 g fat (0.5 g sat), 2 g protein, 33 mg sodium, 8 g carb, 3.5 g sugars (0 g added sugars), 2 g fibre

    Pistachios offer some pretty legit health benefits

    They’re a solid source of fibre

    Pistachios are lower in calories than most nuts

    Packed with antioxidants

    Pistachios may help you sleep better

    Pistachios’ healthy fats support long-term health

    Pistachio Energy Balls

    These protein-packed energy balls are the perfect on-the-go snack.

    Course Snack

    Calories 86 kcal

    1 Food processor
    3/4 cup shelled pistachios1 tbsp sesame seeds1/4 cup slivered almonds1/2 cup dried apricots, chopped1/4 cup tahini1/4 tsp kosher salt2 Medjool dates, pitted
    Heat oven to 200°C. Arrange pistachios, sesame seeds, and almonds on a rimmed baking sheet, making sure to keep them separated. Roast until toasted, 3 to 5 minutes. Cool slightly.In a food processor, pulse pistachios until coarsely chopped. Transfer ¼ cup to a small bowl and mix in sesame seeds. Set aside.Add remaining ingredients to food processor and pulse until finely ground. Mixture should stick together when pressed between fingers. Firmly roll into 1-inch balls, then coat in pistachio-sesame mixture. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours and up to 5 days.

    Keyword energy balls

    Recommended Ingredients & Products:

    Pistachio Nuts in Shell

    The Faithful to Nature pistachio nuts are locally sourced and wrapped in Earth-friendly packaging. “Great quality, value & packaging“

    Bosch 800W Food Processor

    “This product absolutely delivered. I’ve used it to make smoothies, pesto, and hummus, and the results have been amazing.

    It is easy to use, easy to wash, and value for money.” Holly G

    Faithful to Nature Sweet Spreading

    If you’re in a meal prep mood today and you’re making multiple recipes; these three core ingredients may come in handy.

    Need more snack inspo?

    This recipe was originally published on More

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    The 9 Best Vitamins For Strengthening Your Immune System And Warding Off Sickness

    Your immune system truly has no days off. Whether you’re fighting off a cold or recovering from an infection, it’s always kickin’ in high gear. But believe it or not, nutrition has a major impact on your immunity and there are some easy (and delicious) ways to keep your immune system in top shape. Enter: vitamins for immune system support.

    “Nutrients from our diet including vitamins, minerals, and macronutrients like proteins, fats, and carbohydrates, are required for immune cell production and overall immune health,” says Stacey Simon, RDN, of Top Nutrition Coaching.

    Can you eat your way to a better immune system?

    There is no such thing as an “immunity diet,” but consuming a variety of vitamins and minerals can help prevent nutrient deficiencies that can lead to a decline in immune function. “Rather than cherry-picking or adding nutrients here and there, an overall balanced diet rich with a variety of fruits, vegetables, lean protein, healthy fats, and whole grain can help us consume adequate amounts of specific nutrients to prevent deficiency and keep our immune systems strong,” says Simon.

    Do supplements play a role?

    Now you may be thinking, What about supplements? While there is certainly a time and place for them like if you are pregnant, struggling with nutrient deficiencies, or recovering from an illness or surgery, Simon always recommends food first. “Think of supplements as a tool to fill gaps in an otherwise healthy and nourishing diet,” she says.

    Because supplements are not regulated by the FDA, and too much of a nutrient can be detrimental, always talk with your doctor before use. “Unless you are deficient in a nutrient, oftentimes there is no need to supplement with a mega dose,” notes Simon. “The body actually absorbs and utilizes nutrients in food more efficiently.”

    And while nutrition plays a role in immune health, they are other factors at play too. Things like sleep, stress, certain medications, autoimmune diseases, and genetics also affect your immune function. “We have to make sure we’re keeping up our defense on all of these fronts,” says Simon.

    If you want to keep your immune health in tip-top shape, try incorporating these 10 essential vitamins and nutrients into your diet.

    Meet the expert: Stacey Simon, RDN, is a nutritionist with more than nine years of clinical experience. Her special focus is on managing chronic diseases and maintaining general wellness for older adults.

    1. Protein

    Protein is often associated with building muscles and keeping you full between meals, but it also plays a major role in wound healing, recovery, and cell building, says Simon. “Amino acids, or the building blocks of protein, help maintain immune system function through helping produce immune cells.”

    Plus, many protein sources offer a lot of “bang for your immune system buck,” because they contain a ton of other crucial vitamins, minerals, and micronutrients, adds Simon. It’s a win-win!

    “I suggest always going for whole or fresh food first, so you can get real sources of protein,” she says. If you are looking for on-the-go high-protein snacks, look for something with that’s as close to the real deal as possible and doesn’t have a bunch of additives and artificial colours. Pro tip: If you read the ingredient list and are unsure what something is, it’s probably best to steer clear.

    Here are some examples of whole foods that are high in protein.





    Lean beef

    Plain Greek yoghurt

    2. Vitamin C

    You’ve likely heard that vitamin C is important for immune function and shortening the duration of a pesky cold, but it actually does a whole lot more. Vitamin C also plays a tremendous role in wound healing, which is a huge part of maintaining your immune system by keeping your skin barrier intact, says Simon.

    It’s also a powerful antioxidant that reduces inflammation in the body, ultimately decreasing our risk of developing diseases and feeling sick.

    While orange juice may seem like the ultimate vitamin C source, Simon also recommends eating the following foods to get your fill.



    Sweet melon

    Red bell peppers


    3. Vitamin D

    Vitamin D improves the function of immune cells by reducing inflammation in the body and decreasing the risk of infection, says Simon. But here’s the thing, the best source is actually not food—it’s sunlight. Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin, meaning it can dissolve in fats and oils and be stored in the body’s fatty tissue and liver. To help maintain healthy levels, aim for at least 15 minutes of sun exposure a day, according to Harvard Health.

    If you live in a colder climate or can’t get sun exposure on a regular basis, it’s important to supplement through food. “Vitamin D is an area where you might not necessarily feel any deficiency, even if you’re mildly deficient, but it’s one of those things that’s good to supplement with food to close the gap,” says Simon.

    Foods high in vitamin D include the following.


    Orange juice fortified with vitamin D

    Fortified cereal

    Dairy or plant milk fortified with vitamin D



    Egg yolks

    4. Vitamin E

    This is another fat-soluble vitamin with powerful antioxidant properties to help support immune cell production. “Vitamin E helps support T-cell growth, or the white blood cells that play a major role in immune functioning,” explains Simon. “When we think about cells in the body that defend and fight off pathogens, vitamin E helps to support the growth of those defense T-cells.”

    Add these vitamin E foods to your plate to help boost immune health.



    Sunflower seeds

    Red bell peppers




    5. Zinc

    Think of zinc as an immunity superstar. Not only does it play a major role in wound healing, but it also aids in the development of immunity cells by impacting the growth of T-cells, says Simon. And while some studies show that zinc can help shorten the length of a common cold, there’s no need to overdo your zinc intake. “Most people are able to maintain their zinc levels within a healthy range by eating a normal, balanced diet,” says Simon.

    You’ll find zinc in many of the foods you’re probably already eating like the following.


    Red meat




    Fortified cereal


    6. Iron

    “We often think of iron playing a huge role in our energy levels and how our body feels, but it also builds up those immune cells, allowing them to reach full maturity so they can go off and do their job,” says Simon.

    Iron is also a major component of hemoglobin (the protein in red blood cells that carries oxygen from your lungs to the rest of your body), so significant bleeding can cause your iron levels to drop. Because of this, research suggests it’s especially important for women who menstruate to maintain iron levels and eat iron-rich foods.

    Try incorporating the following high-iron foods into your diet.




    Lean beef


    Fortified cereal

    7. Selenium

    Selenium acts as a powerful antioxidant that can help reduce inflammation in the body, and studies show it promotes heart health, optimizes immune functioning, and may even help prevent cancer. While a generally balanced diet is usually suitable for your daily selenium intake, low selenium levels have been shown to reduce immune function.

    Stock up on some of the following selenium-rich foods.

    Brazil nuts (Fun fact: Eating one Brazil nut a day can help you meet your daily requirement, says Simon.)


    Lean beef






    8. Copper

    Inflammation is a sign that your body is working overtime to heal or repair itself, but copper plays a huge role in minimizing its effects by neutralizing free radicals, says Simon. Research shows that free radicals are unstable atoms in the body that can damage cells and cause illness, but copper has antimicrobial properties to reduce their presence and ultimately calm inflammation.

    Maintaining healthy copper levels is a bit of a balancing act, however, because too little copper can suppress your immune function, yet too much copper can be dangerous and lead to cell death. But no need to overcomplicate it because copper toxicity is rare, stresses Simon. “Just eating a balanced diet is a good way to make sure we are getting enough copper and remaining within that healthy range,” she says.

    Focus on a varied diet by eating some of the following.

    Unsweetened baker’s chocolate


    Sunflower seeds

    Potatoes (with the skin)

    Shiitake mushrooms


    9. Probiotics

    You’ve likely heard probiotics are the good bacteria in your digestive system, but they also play a role in immune health, says Simon. Studies have shown that probiotics promote natural antibodies in the body by boosting immune cell production and fighting off infection. Some research even suggests that probiotics can prevent respiratory tract infections like the cold or flu and reduce urinary tract infections in women.

    Foods high in probiotics include the following.





    Yoghurt (with live active cultures)


    This article was first published in More

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    This Prawn Curry Hits The Spot When You’re Craving Take-Aways

    Like Heritage Day, Dinner at Matloha’s is all about bringing family and friends together for some good times around the table. Here, Liziwe Motloha’s prawn curry, from her book Dinner at Motloha’s, showcases ingredients that reflect her culinary heritage and appeal to the entire family.

    This prawn curry is rich in kitchen staple ingredients while being hearty and just indulgent enough to temper the craving for a fast food meal. It’s also ready in minutes.

    Time for some cooking essentials…

    This innovative can-to-pan Masterclass Frying Pan is made of 70% recycled aluminium that is sourced from discarded drink cans. Win-win!

    The rich, red colour comes from the finest Italian tomatoes. Each one is strained through a sieve to remove the seeds and then bottled in its raw, uncooked form.

    This turner’s handle has an enhanced comfortable grip, so you can avoid that awkward angle trying to flip your steaks. An angled tip makes for easy flipping.

    Liziwe Matloha’s Prawn Curry

    Make this tasty curry in minutes with kitchen staples and frozen prawns.

    Prep Time 2 minsCook Time 15 minsTotal Time 20 mins

    Course Main CourseCuisine South African

    Servings 4

    Frying PanPot
    2 tbsp sunflower oil800 g large prawn meat, uncooked2 cloves garlic thinly sliced1 whole red chilli seeds removed and finely chopped2 tsp mild curry powder1 tsp ground turmeric1 tbsp tomato purée120 ml water or stock1 can coconut cream2 cups baby spinach leavescooked rice for serving
    Heat the oil in a large frying pan. Add the prawns and cook for 3 minutes, or until they turn opaque. Remove from the pan and set aside. Add the garlic and chilli to the pan (there is no need to wipe it clean) and fry for a few seconds. (Add a little more oil if necessary, to prevent sticking.) Add the curry powder, turmeric and tomato purée and cook for 1 minute.Return the prawns to the pan and toss in the curry paste to coat.Add the water or stock and coconut cream and stir through. Allow to simmer over a medium heat for 3 minutes.Add the spinach leaves and cook for a further 2–3 minutes, until the spinach is just wilted. (If the leaves are big, roughly chop the spinach before adding.) Serve immediately.

    Keyword comfort food, curry, prawns

    Do you need more weeknight dinner recipe ideas? More