It is the time of the year again when many of us get the sniffles. Prevention is the key when it comes to getting through winter unscathed.
So making sure your immune system is in optimal condition is critical. A well functioning immune system, good digestion and good stress management, means you will get sick less often and can help promote a faster recovery if you do come down with a cold or flu.
Here are 5 top foods all in season to have plenty of in your diet that will help increase your likelihood of flying through the cold months in good health.
Over 70% of your immune system is in your gut and what you eat forms the foundation of your health. Probiotics found in yoghurt are healthy bacteria that keep the gut and intestinal tract in balance and free of disease-causing germs.
A cup of low-fat yoghurt a day can reduce your chances of catching a cold by 25%.
Check the label to see that the brand you buy has the beneficial Lactobacillus reuteri strain as not all brands contain those particular bacteria.
With its potent anti-oxidants, anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial components ginger comes to aid in boosting immune function and combating cellular damage. It also contains substances that helps to suppress coughing, relieve fever and a mild sedative.
Garlic is packed full of antioxidant flavonoids and sulfur-containing compounds like allicin which helps to fight infection and bacteria. As a bonus, garlic helps to open up stuffy sinuses.
Citrus fruits are powerhouse of vitamin C, although studies have show that Vitamin C does not reduce the duration of cold symptoms; it is still an important vitamin to have in your diet for a healthy and strong immune system.
Besides citrus fruits, other foods that have high amount of vitamin C include papaya, broccoli, tomatoes and kiwi fruits.
A good source of protein such as chicken will supply your body with the essential amino acids your body needs to heal and nourish.
Make a warm chicken soup with garlic and ginger – the perfect ingredients to help you get through the winter cold.
Have plenty of dark green vegetables such as broccoli, spinach, chard and kale.
The antioxidants, phytonutrients, fibers and acids are responsible for combating inflammation and infections, immune response in the gut as well as support detoxification.
Remember an overall diet rich in variety from all food groups: rich in vitamins & minerals is your best bet for the cold weather. Try to have foods in its whole form, this way you’re getting the benefits of all the other nutrients not typically found in supplements.