As we get back into the swing of things after the festive period, it can be upsetting to think that we still have a few months of winter to endure before the weather picks up! With the bitter cold comes the inevitable illnesses, which are more easily caught as your body expends extra energy to keep warm, making us all an easier target for colds and bugs. If like us you don’t have time for being ill, we have compiled a handy list of immune-boosting superfoods that will help barricade your body against the tirade of winter viruses!
Grapefruit, oranges, lemons, limes, tangerines and pomelo are all considered citrus fruits. They contain high levels of vitamin C and importantly, citric acid. They are very effective at keeping your white blood cells healthy whilst also helping to repair cells that have been damaged by viral infections. Try adding a grapefruit or pomelo to your breakfast for that extra daily boost of these bug-beating vitamins.
Heavily concentrated with sulfur-containing compounds, garlic has been recognized as an effective immune system booster around the world for centuries. Found in almost all cuisines, this is not a hard one to add to your meals. To maximize the benefits of garlic try making a tasty garlicky hummus or indulge in an East Asian-inspired garlic and soy dressing with your salad. Make sure you don’t overdo it, though, you want to keep illness away, not every living thing within a five-mile radius!
Cheap, tasty and very, very versatile, ginger is one of the best foods to turn to if you’re unlucky enough to have already caught a cold. This is because it is a natural anti-inflammatory, easing symptoms such as headaches, earaches, and sore throats. Ginger has the added ability to reinforce your body’s defenses due to the levels of capsaicin in this wonder food. Try mixing up a tasty lemon, ginger and honey tea to exorcise those evil viruses ASAP!
Meat and Dairy
That’s right, meat and dairy are great ways to keep your immune system alive and kicking! High in protein and full of essential fats and vitamins, they aid in cell regeneration and the production of white blood cells, all of which are important for keeping you strong over the long cool winter months.
About 70% of your immune system resides in your gut, which is full of bacteria! To keep the balance of good bacteria, which contains enzymes designed to break down foreign invaders to the body, yogurt provides the perfect boost. Probiotics essentially top up the existing good bacteria in your body, out weighing less useful bacteria, and ensuring that harmful viruses and bacteria are eliminated in the stomach. Try eating a few dollops of probiotic yogurt with some tasty jam, honey or even peanut butter to keep your insides healthy.
Don’t fall victim to the evil bacteria lurking in the air this winter. Make sure you stock up and feed your defenses to ensure you stay healthy, active and strong!