Winter superfoods to sneak into your diet
Winter is here and with it we reluctantly welcome the cold winds, long nights, icy mornings and a flurry of sniffles and sneezes.
While it may feel like our bodies will inevitably fall victim to the common cold, cough or flu during the colder months, there are ways to improve your chances of making it through the season unscathed.
The most effective method is to boost your immune system. Thankfully, there is a wide variety of winter fruits, vegetables and spices that can give our bodies the vitamins and minerals it needs to protect itself against both viruses and bacteria.
Help your body stave off the winter chill and all that it brings by sneaking these seasonal superfoods into your diet.
In addition to being the world’s most festive spice, Cinnamon can reduce bacteria’s ability to multiply, making it great for both your gut and immune system. Sprinkle on top of a hot chocolate, tea, coffee or your morning porridge to easily get the health benefits of this classic winter spice. Cinnamon can also be used to make a very effective remedy for both coughs and colds. Simply mix a small amount of cinnamon with teaspoon of Manuka honey once every day.
A number of studies carried out over the past few years have brought to light the amazing benefits of probiotics (friendly bacteria). The research showed that when consumed, the probiotics work to digest nutrients that both support your immune system and boost the detoxification of the colon.
For an easy way to add this superfood into your daily diet, add a couple of tablespoons of yogurt to your morning cereal and drizzle with honey.
While butternut squash is the most widely available, winter squash come in all sorts of shapes, sizes and colours. Sampling these varieties throughout the winter months (including acorn, spaghetti, etc) is a great way to load up on beta-carotene, a pigment that your body converts into Vitamin A.
Each variety can easily be made into a hearty soup, perfect for those winter nights. You can also use squash as a more nutritious alternative to potatoes. Roast in the oven with some root vegetables or simply mash it up with a little bit of garlic.
Vitamin C – the ultimate immune system booster. It is peak season for citrus fruits, meaning they are juicy and bursting with flavour and essential vitamins and minerals.
Swap your mid morning tea or coffee with a cup of hot water and lemon.
Broccoli, sprouts and kale are packed with immune system boosting nutrients and choline, a micronutrient that is similar to vitamin B.
To get the most nutrients out of these green superfoods, either eat raw or cook for no longer than 10 minutes in a steamer.