At last – we can go to restaurants again! Here’s how to eat out and boost your immunity at the same time.
- Plan ahead
Eating healthy can be more challenging when you eat out, especially if you are out with friends. The venue may not be your decision, so check out the menu online beforehand – it is easier to avoid decisions you might regret if you have already chosen your food.
- Nibble first
You are more likely to make poor choices and overeat if you arrive at the restaurant feeling hungry. Have a small high-protein snack, like a half-cup of unsweetened yoghurt or a handful of unsalted nuts, before you go.
- Be modest
Restaurant portions can be significantly larger than what you need. Consider ordering two entrée dishes, rather than an entrée and a main. Or, if you’re a dessert person, treat yourself to an entrée and a dessert, rather than all three. Another good tip is to share a main with a friend who is similarly interested in eating well.Ask your server for an extra side of vegetables or salad, with the dressing or sauce served separately so you can control what you add. When selecting dishes, choose tomato- or stock-based sauces and dressings, rather than cream- or cheese-based ones. If you are drinking alcohol, aim for a glass of water for every alcoholic drink.
- Eat mindfully
Pay conscious attention to your environment – the company, the atmosphere, the sounds – and take the time to truly savour your food, which will prevent you from overeating. Chew your food thoroughly and slowly; putting your knife and fork down every few mouthfuls is an effective way to let your brain process whether you are full.
- Add immune oomph
Certain foods enjoy superhero status when it comes to building and supporting immune health. Here are some of the best ingredients to look for, as a guide your menu choices:
Beetroot – Delicious in a salad, juice or burger, beetroot’s unique blend of minerals and phytochemicals makes it an infection-fighting powerhouse.
Kale – Whether it’s served fresh in a salad, steamed as a side, or included in a bake, kale is packed with bioflavonoids, glucosinalates and antioxidant nutrients that have immune-stimulant properties.
Grapefruit – Very on-trend for mocktails and light desserts like sorbets, this is a powerful detoxifier, helping to eliminate toxins and ward off colds and flu.
Avocado – A staple in Mexican and South American cuisine, any dish with avocado is going to pack an immune-boosting punch. Bonus: being high in ‘good’ monounsaturated fat, you will feel full faster and for longer.
Quinoa – This versatile ingredient is gluten-free and easy to digest, explaining why restaurants are now using it in everything from soups and stews to porridge and tabbouleh.
Tempeh – Eating Japanese, Korean or Chinese food? Pick something that contains tempeh and enjoy the knowledge that this phytoestrogen-rich food is active against viruses and known to reduce the risk of breast and prostate cancer.