A human’s immune system is a pretty unbelievable thing. With all the pesky diseases and illnesses that roam the world (here’s looking at you, COVID-19) this little internal machine is working day and night to kick bugs to the curb. However, sometimes our immunity needs a little booster to perform at its best. This is where some of the world’s friendliest foods come in.
When life throws us a curveball full of uncertainty, sometimes all we want to do is to cocoon in a doona, initiate a never-ending Netflix binge and snack the days away on Cheezels and Tim Tams. Believe us, we’re right there with you. We don’t always feel like throwing back a ginger and turmeric shot, either.
So to help motivate you to eat a little better, we’ve tracked down some of Melbourne’s greatest eateries doing the hard work for you. From Northcote to South Yarra and Fitzroy, these hospitality establishments are continuing to offer healthy take out and delivery options during the COVID-19 crisis. We really encourage you to support these local businesses, and others in your neighbourhood, who need our big appetites more than ever. Home isolating elsewhere? We’ve also put together a guide to healthy takeaways in Sydney and Brisbane too.
Now, we’re not claiming that these restaurants are cooking up the COVID-19 cure. But, if there’s ever a time to give your body a boost of beneficial vitamins, antioxidants and minerals, it’s now.
Melbourne Restaurants Serving the Best Immunity Boosting Foods
Poke the Bear
Poke the Bear is a Northcote establishment serving up healthy breakfast and lunch options, giving us one less thing to grizzle about in the morning. For a meal your immune system will love, order a freshly squeezed green juice and pair it with a hearty bowl of Goldie Locks Porridge.
The green juice comes packed with spinach and kale which contain folate, vitamin A, vitamin C, fibre, magnesium and iron. These leafy greens are absolutely key for a fully functioning immune system. And did you know kale has more vitamin c than an orange and more calcium than milk? Mind-blowing.
Poke the Bear also tops their protein and fibre-rich porridge with a Brazil nut crunch, so you can tuck in knowing your brekky has just the right amount of selenium – a mineral found in Brazil nuts that has a good dose of antioxidants to support immune health.
The Vegie Bar
A haven for vegetarian, health-conscious and just downright hungry Melbourne locals, The Vegie Bar is a Fitzroy restaurant teeming with delicious dishes that will have you feeling tip-top, even when it seems like the world is falling apart.
For a real immunity booster, we say order the Zen Bowl. Sat on top of a bed of green tea soba noodles you’ll find other goodies like tempeh, black beans, wasabi cashews, home-made kimchi and a delightful finish of pickled ginger and crispy kale.
As our gut is the body part most exposed to disease and illnesses, it’s important to protect it with immunity boosting and gut-healthy fermented foods such as tempeh and kimchi. The addition of black beans is a wonderful source of protein and build cells within your immune system too.
Middle South East
Bringing Australian and Middle Eastern cultures together, Middle South East is a South Yarra restaurant serving a vibrant menu of wholesome eats. Middle Eastern food contains an abundance of immunity boosting foods, from chickpeas to probiotic-rich labneh, so it’s one of our favourite cuisines of choice.
Middle South East’s Sahtein superfood salad is a no-brainer for those wanting a whole bowl’s worth of immune system benefits. The key ingredients your insides will go crazy for are kale, broccolini, hummus and the option to add salmon (which you should absolutely do).
Salmon not only has Omega 3 fatty acids but is high in vitamin D, which is vital for those living that home office life (holla!). Some crunchy broccolini will provide your body with a nice boost of fibre, vitamin C and vitamin A, whereas hummus contains loads of zinc from chickpeas and disease-fighting properties from garlic.
Two Birds One Stone
Another South Yarra hotspot for Melbourne’s foodies is Two Birds One Stone. You’ll find them in a bright and homely space on Claremont Street. The team here pride themselves on creating a menu that heroes fresh produce and changes regularly with the seasons.
Perhaps as cleansing as washing your hands is Two Birds’ vegan chia pudding. Unlike anything you might usually find on your Instagram feed or in your average health store fridge, these guys have created a coconut, matcha and yuzu pudding with mango puree, passionfruit, melon balls and lemon balm. Um, YUM.
And we’ve found more reasons to love mangoes (a.k.a. the fruit of the gods). It turns out their full of vitamin C, A and plenty of other vitamins which improve immunity. Yuzu is also high in vitamin C, so Two Birds has definitely won our hearts by adding this bonus ingredient to their pud.
Tucked away down Daly Street, just off Chapel Street, Dilly Daly is one of Melbourne’s greatest brunch destinations. And for very good reason. There’s something on the menu that ticks everyone’s dietary requirements – whether you’re gluten free, vegetarian or vegan. Most importantly, there’s a heck of a lot of healthy options to gobble up.
The Frijoles Rancheros (a.k.a. South American baked eggs) are sure to hit the spot – and treat yo’ immunity at the same time. Lap up this rich and tomatoey dish, filled with house made baked beans, chorizo, roasted capsicum, zucchini, chilli and perfectly baked eggs.
While oranges get all the credit, capsicums are the real vitamin C MVPs. A single red bell pepper adds up to 170 to 200 percent of your daily needs. Like chickpeas and black beans, baked beans also support immune function through their rich fibre and zinc content. Great news, indeed.
Over to you!
Which immunity boosting foods are at the top of your list? Let us know in the comments if you have a favourite local cafe or restaurant offering healthy delivery or take away options at the moment 💪