Nutrition and Immunity: Fighting Colds and Flus with Food

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It’s the middle of winter here in Australia and there are a lot of people coughing, sniffing and blowing their noses profusely right now. In fact, the number of flu cases in Adelaide has so far doubled that of this time last year.

Here’s something you should know: you don’t have to suffer through lengthy, debilitating bouts of sickness every winter or every time you come close to someone else with a bug or virus. The immune system can take a bit of a beating from our diet and lifestyle habits, so it’s important to keep these in check around wintertime to protect ourselves as best we can.

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Kidney Bean Curry

This curry is bursting with flavour. It’s a powerful immune system strengthener with garlic, ginger, turmeric and vitamin C from capsicum and tomatoes. If you have the time and prefer fresh-cooked food, you can cook up your own kidney beans and use extra fresh tomatoes in place of canned. I top mine with lots and lots of coriander for maximum flavour!

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Minestrone Soup

This is one of my favourite, classic meals to make in winter: An easy, one-pot dish that is delicious, warming and full of goodness. It’s pretty much a nutrition all-rounder, containing veggies, grains and legumes, as well as some very nourishing herbs and spices. It’s full of antioxidants, fibre, iron and calcium. I make a big batch of it and save the leftovers for lunches and dinners on work nights. If you’re extra organised when it comes to meal prep, you could even freeze batches (if you remember to use them later on, that is – usually I don’t!). Make it the day before to let the flavours meld and develop further – it tastes even better.

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100+ Ways to Eat More Beans (Plus How to Avoid the Gas!)

mexican pies beans avo lime -1935154_960_720.jpgLegumes (beans, peas and lentils) have an abundance of health benefits, having been shown to help prevent ageing and cancer, reverse diabetes and heart disease and increase longevity (more about why you should be eating them here). However, we’re not eating enough of them. So this blog is going to show you how to change that. Beans are no longer something that is merely added to soups to bulk them up a bit – there’s much more to them than that! Many of the most popular cuisines’ cultures have been using beans as a staple food in their diets for thousands of years. Here I’ve included some bean-based dishes from ethnic cuisines, as well as some modern takes on traditional recipes that have beans added to them. There are 102 ideas here (yes, this took me a while to compile!) so you’re bound to find at least a few recipes to try. Continue reading

Why You Should Be Eating Beans!

Beans, peas and lentils (known collectively as ‘legumes’) are a forgotten nutrition champion, having been condemned for their gassy properties and image as a bland vegetarian food for hippies. I often bring up beans with my patients, not only because most people don’t eat them at all, but also because they are such a universally beneficial food, shown to have benefits for many common chronic health conditions.

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Chickpea ‘Tuna’ Dip

I have served this dip many times to non-vegans, who are always very surprised to hear that it’s made out of chickpeas and not tuna! The chickpeas give the tuna-like texture and the seaweed the tuna taste, making it a perfect copy of tuna dip, minus all of the unhealthy ingredients. Being based on legumes (i.e. the chickpeas and tofu), this dip is packed full of nutrients- soluble fibre, iron and folate just to name a few. Population studies from around the world are continuously showing us that those eating more beans Continue reading