As the temperature drops, we naturally begin to crave foods that keep us warm. Choose more soups, stews, slow cooked and roasted meals filled with plenty of vegetables and spices to keep you warm and ensure your immune system stays in tip top fighting shape during winter.
Just by adding a few of these ingredients, you’ll be sure to feel warm and healthy inside and out!
Cinnamon, ginger and garlic all pack heat. They boost your metabolism and carry all sorts of medicinal marvels to keep winter colds at bay. Garlic stimulates immune functioning and contains anti-viral and anti-bacterial properties. Ginger also promotes blood flow to your extremities, literally helping to keep you warm from your nose to your toes.
Choose plenty of vegetables rich in beta carotene such as carrots, sweet potatoes, pumpkin, kale and spinach. Foods rich in beta carotene boost immunity against viral and bacterial infections.
Including plenty of hot foods in winter, not only keeps you warmer, they may help to thin out mucous secretions acting as a decongestant and expectorant. Include more foods such as chillies, onions, ground pepper, mustard, horseradish, wasabi, Tabasco, capsicum, curry powder, paprika, mustard seeds and cayenne pepper. Just a small amount greatly enhances the flavour of a meal.
By adding in these ingredients you will boost your immunity. Choose more dark green leafy vegetables for their iron, and Vitamin C rich fruits and vegetables like kiwi, strawberries, oranges, carrots, pumpkins, turnips and cabbage. Also include foods rich in zinc as your immune system cannot function at its best without it. The greatest source of zinc is found in oysters.
Other helpful tips to remember during winter include avoiding processed foods, sugar and soft drinks. Get sufficient sleep. Inadequate rest and sleep can cause the breakdown of your immune system making you more vulnerable to the cold and flu’s. Keep calm and avoid stress! Don’t smoke and limit alcohol consumption. Drink plenty of fluids and maintain regular light exercise – movement assists in loosening up built up mucous and fluids.
Posted by Katherine Rothwell