OMQ gives you the lowdown on five foods to ward of the winter sniffles
Don’t get caught out this winter, chew on these immune boosters.
Red runny noses, pockets stuffed with tissues and that persistent tickley cough. As the days are getting shorter and colder, and the winter months draw in, we all become a bit more susceptible to colds and flu.
Here are a few immune system boosters to see you through.
When your parents told you to eat your greens, they were absolutely correct. Vegetables, particularly dark leafy greens like spinach and kale, are high in nutrients that can help protect you from sickness.
Try to get a portion of veg into every meal. A handful of spinach works a treat in smoothies, and doesn’t compromise on taste when mixed with fruit.
A warm kale salad at lunch is great midday fuel through the winter and a good way to get in those leafy greens. Add more veg: roasted beetroot is my favourite and a fab source of antioxidants too. Top with a source of protein and a few crushed pecans for an easy, tasty lunch that will help keep you fighting fit this winter.
Though the notion that Vitamin C is some sort of magical cure for the common cold has come under criticism, there is no doubt that the high levels of antioxidants found in Vitamin C-rich foods (like grapefruits and oranges) can help our bodies ward off symptoms of colds.
Starting your day with a hot water and lemon is not only a great way to get a little hit of Vitamin C, it has also been shown to boost metabolism. Add a teaspoon of honey to this if you are already suffering as it can help to soothe a sore throat. Boost the cold fighting properties even further with a slice of fresh ginger. Great for its soothing firey taste and antibacterial properties.
A warming bowl of porridge is a welcome start to the day. A hearty breakfast like oats sets you up for the day, providing slow release of energy.
Oats also include beta-glucan, a type of fibre that has been demonstrated to aid healing and strengthen the immune system.
Adequate zinc levels are vital for the body to effectively produce white blood cells, that are crucial in fighting infection. Red meats are full of zinc, but it can also be found in plentiful supply in seeds such as pumpkin, sunflower and sesame as in well as beans and oats.
So start your day with a bowl of porridge or sprinkle a few extra seeds onto your salad or soup at lunch to ensure you get enough zinc to help your body protect itself against illness this winter.
Though garlic has got a bad rep for its pungent aroma causing bad breath, it is packed with goodness. Garlic’s antibacterial properties help ward off illnesses.
It also tastes delicious and apparently helps ward off vampires, so we’d recommend you incorporate garlic into your diet – but you don’t have to go as far as wearing it around your neck.
Lemon and garlic make a great marinade when mixed with a little olive oil, salt and pepper – and you get the added benefit of the vitamin C in the lemon.