With winter creeping up on us quickly this year, we are all looking for ways to boost our immunity and reduce the onset of the cold and flu. Here are a few wholesome food sources that will help your immune system ward off unwanted viruses this winter.
- Garlic and ginger contain potent antimicrobial properties and are great to add to soups and stir fries.
- Seafood, beans and legumes. These food are sources of zinc, which aids in digestion and immunity, as well as helps to regulating hormone production.
- Carrots, pumpkin, sweet potato and egg for Vitamin A. This vitamin is essential for normal development and immunity.
- Spinach is great to add into soups, smoothies, salad and stir fries. It is high in vitamin c, beta carotene and antioxidant content. Try adding it in at the end of cooking, as over-cooking spinach reduces the nutrient content.
- Probiotics – are healthy bacteria that assist in defending your body against harmful bacteria. Good sources of probiotics are sauerkraut, yoghurt, kimchi, miso soup, kefir and soft cheese.
While diet plays a major role in immunity and managing the onset of colds and flu, it is also essential that you get adequate sleep. Not getting enough sleep, especially less than 7 hours per night plays havoc on your immune system, interfering with the production and release of infection-fighting antibodies. So make sure you’re taking care of yourself nutritionally as well as getting enough rest.
By Clare Fogarty, Registered Dietitian