photo by Latente 囧 Il Bipensiero al Governo

When the World Health Organisation- WHO releases a global warning about a possible pandemic, currently swine influenza A (H1N1) or the swine flu public reaction tends to  take one of the following forms.

You have your pragmatist or ‘well stocked pantry personality’  who is boy scout ready for any possible outbreak including stock piling face masks, bottles of drinking water and long-life batteries.

I am exceptionally  fortunate that my man-about-the-house @iconic88 is one such boy scout and I adore him even more than normal during these times of uncertainty.

Another type of personality that you’re bound to come across is one that I like to refer to  as your ‘peanut butter personality’.  This person is the spreader. They talk about whatever’s hot, trending and topical and lay it on thick, ensuring the news of the day is out there and as much people as possible are in the “know”.

You may find yourself in close proximity of the joker- the ‘Turkey shaped tofu at thanksgiving personality’.  Someone who finds that lighter and funnier side of everything. Let me introduce you to @lyndons , whose recent post regarding the #swineflu on twitter asked the question “Will everyone less than 6 degrees from “Kevin Bacon” check with their doctor?” Say no more…

How about the ” Rose teacups in the china cabinet personality” the person who you rarely see, doesn’t bother with this or that and only comes out on special occasions. “What pandemic?” You might hear them say.

I’d like to introduce you to a new personality that came about from  my twitter discussions with online friends since the swine flu scare was announced.  The “Food Evangelist Personality” – Everything can be healed, fought, stopped and prevented if you know how to eat right!

Preventative and immune boosting eating during a possible pandemic is the tamiflu for the foodie! Not to be replaced, but definitely to be included!

photo by paulS

1. Red Chilli Peppers

Chilli is a great immune booster and first line of defence against invading pathogens. Eating foods rich in chilli is a great kick start to your immune system as well as your taste buds.

One of my favourite foods to prepare that is high in chilli yet well balanced is the most famous of Thai dishes  ‘Tom Yum Goong’ or Hot and Sour Soup with prawns.

photo by Bridget

2. Citrus Fruit

Now is the time to make sure that we get our daily intake of Vitamin C which is the wonder vitamin of the immune system and can be found in abundance in the citrus family.

It’s simple and easy to grab a glass of  ‘OJ’  before you run out the door, but if you want to spruce it up a bit, I suggest you try one of these amazing Immune boosting smoothies.

photo by modomatic

3. Garlic

Garlic is well known as a cold fighter and immune booster and should be added with reckless abandon to everything you plan on cooking! And to take it one step further and immerse yourself in everything garlic,  you could try this little garlic soup recipe which will knock your socks off!

photo by house of sims

4. Better Beta Carotene

Foods high in beta carotene are the immune system enhancers. The natural infection fighting cells that help and protect your body from invaders. Dose yourself up on sweet potatoes, carrots, spinach, mangoes, papaya and squash to name just a few of these yummy protectors.

Here’s a marvellous recipe for sweet potato shoestring fries that are marinated in orange juice! 2 immune boosters in 1 dish!

photo by jlastras

5. Fish Friendly Omega3

Omega 3 fats that you find in fish such as Salmon, Mackerel and Tuna are essential in the maintenance of the immune system as they increase the activity of  white blood cells that are responsible for eating up bacteria.

And what a great and tasty way to maintain! One of my favourite ways to eat salmon is freshly smoked salmon  and here’s recipe by the clever team at Saveur magazine that teach you how to smoke salmon in a wok!

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With 20+ years working in commercial kitchens, I’m here to share with you some of the best secrets of the trade to help you cook better, faster and to eat well. You will surprise a lot of family & friends when you give some of my recipes a try.