It’s been quite mild this autumn, but boy do I feel that chill in the air today!
Now that winter finally feels like it’s in the air and the holiday season is almost here, you may be in need of a little immunity boost to help see you through the winter sniffle free.
With the change of season, you may be more susceptible to those colds and flus going around.
Stop them in their tracks with these 5 Top Foods for Staying Healthy This Winter.
And remember to keep an eye out for our upcoming sister blog on Nourish’s Favourite Supplements to Keep You Healthy This Winter for further immune supporting advice!
1. Eat some Garlic
Garlic is one of our most versatile herbs, helping to provide respiratory, immune, digestive and cardiovascular support.
Garlic is fantastic at helping to fight infection and bacteria because it helps to stimulate immune function. It also has antimicrobial properties which act on viruses, bacteria, fungi and worms.
It even has mucus-thinning compounds that are excreted partially through the lungs making it a useful herb when preventing and resolving respiratory infections.
You can easily add garlic to your everyday cooking, whether in raw or cooked from.
Try roasting whole cloves with root veggies like sweet potato, carrot, parsnip or butternut squash in a splash of olive or coconut oil.
Or how about making a delicious pesto or hummus with a generous amount of crushed raw garlic.
Garlic is an all-time winter wellness favourite that should be in your kitchen and in your bellies this season!
2. Manuka Honey
Manuka honey is produced in New Zealand by bees that pollinate the native Manuka bush.
Manuka honey has many uses, but it is most commonly consumed to help promote a healthy immune system.
It’s loaded with minerals, enzymes and antioxidants, and is used to keep colds and flus at bay, as well as being used against coughs, sore, dry or irritated throats, for treatment of burns, and to help build up your immune system especially at this time of year.
This is due to its high anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties which fight the bacteria and viruses trying to attack our immune system.
This honey can be eaten like regular honey, such as mixing it into warm water with lemon (not boiling or this will kill off the active properties), added to smoothies, mixed through porridge, on toast or even taken off the spoon.
If Manuka honey is just too much on the pricey side, opt for RAW organic honey.
Raw honey has not been heat treated/pasteurised which removes the beneficial enzymes, vitamins and health properties – all the bits you want!
3. Probiotic rich foods
Probiotics are beneficial bacteria that can help support and strengthen the immune system, on top of supporting your digestive health and intestinal health.
It’s good to note that your gut is where 70% of your immune system actually is, so making sure you’ve got plenty of good bacteria in your gut will ensure you’re better equipped to deal with any bad bacteria heading your way.
Foods that contain naturally occurring probiotics include sauerkraut, kimchi, kombucha tea, miso soup, tempeh and cultured dairy such as kefir and natural yoghurt.
4. Increase Fruit and Veggies
Plants provide an abundance of immune protecting phytochemicals and are rich in antioxidants. Antioxidant rich foods such as carrots, sweet potatoes, berries, cherries, green leafy veg, are go-to foods to keep your immune system strong and supportive to your health, and also to kill off those nasty bugs should they wriggle past your immune defence.
The effectiveness of Vitamin C in the prevention and relief of cold and flu symptoms is well known, helping to not only stop a cold in its tracks but to speed up the recovery should you pick up the sniffles.
Good food sources of Vitamin C include:
Citrus fruits such as oranges and grapefruits, kiwi fruits, mangos, papaya, berries including strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, pineapples, cranberries and watermelons.
Zinc helps to fight infection, and if taken within the first 24hours from the first sign of symptoms, it has been shown to significantly reduce both the symptoms and severity of the common cold.
Good zinc sources include:
Legumes, lentils, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, almonds, whole grains, eggs, dairy, animal products.
And finally, get in those winter warming foods!
Try making warming soups, stews, curries, hot pots, apple crumbles.. anything to get in those immune strengthening vitamins, minerals and antioxidants in the most delicious ways possible!
Focus on rich stocks and broths and include plenty of root veggies, squashes, winter greens, mushrooms, beans, legumes, whole grains and even miso and seaweed for whacking up those mineral levels.
Fantastic herbs and spices to include are garlic, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom and turmeric. These you can add to your main meals, or how about stirring through a teaspoon of cinnamon into you porridge, or making bread filled with cardamom.
Try topping off your winter salads with a handful of roasted nuts or making delicious apple crumbles or porridge toppings with cooked apples and pears – mmm!
Citrus fruits like Satsuma’s and tangerines are also coming into season now, and these are excellent as a snack, a morning juice or squeezed into hot water with honey or squeezed over winter salads.
The options are limitless!
We stock a wide range of immunity boosting supplements to additional help keep colds and bugs at bay. See the whole immunity support supplement range here.
For more information and advice on keeping your immune system strong and healthy this winter, keep an eye out for our sister posts as part of the Winter Wellness Series:
If you have any questions or comments feel free to contact me via our Facebook or Twitter page!
Twitter – @nourishstores
*Please note that while we are knowledgeable about our products and nutrition, this blog should never be a substitute for medical advice and attention
Please remember that you should always obtain the all-clear from your doctor before starting any new supplement plan or diet if you’re on any medication
Recommended Link for Vegan Recipes: http://veganetcetera.com/