Strengthening your immune system
Living well is a full-time hustle. Plummeting temperatures combined with late nights on the town are challenging on our immune system during Winter months. Party season is the best, but flu?! Not so much. Therefore, staying healthy is a priority. Having a flu jab is probably the best way of protecting yourself but the kitchen is also an important port of call when looking to boost your immune system this Winter. Follow these simple tips today; no needles necessary!
Nana may have been right about a lot of things but let’s clear one thing up; having vitamin C cannot help you recover from a cold. However, it’s a fantastic antioxidant and so can reduce the chances of you catching one in the first place. It works by mopping up free radicals that would otherwise compromise your immune system. It’s also thought to help your body produce more white blood cells, which fight infections. Excellent sources include citrus fruits, green leafy vegetables and berries. Similarly, look out for foods rich in beta-carotene; an antioxidant found in yellow, orange and green fruit and vegetables.
Savvy switch ups
I'm a big fan of seriously simple solutions. For example, just by switching from using salt and table sauces, to using spices, garlic and lemon juice for flavour; you can increase the immune-boosting properties of your daily dinners! Lemon juice is high in vitamin C, whilst garlic contains a compound called ‘allicin’ which has immune-enhancing effects. Ginger and turmeric, on the other hand, are great anti-inflammatories.
How you prepare and eat foods can also alter how effective they are at boosting your immune system. For example, cooking vegetables as little as possible helps retain water-soluble nutrients such as vitamin C. However, light cooking is beneficial for enhancing nutrients like beta-carotene. The perfect compromise is steaming vegetables as opposed to boiling them.
Above all, having a balanced and varied diet is essential to keeping your immune system healthy; there is no one ‘superfood’ or group of ‘superfoods’ that can stop you from catching a cold or the flu. Consistency is also key, and since habits take a while to form, having a bit of support can help; whether that be from an encouraging family member or a nutritionist!