It is important in winter that we keep our immune systems strong to prevent colds and the flu. You can do this by providing your body with the right foods to support itself from the inside. Here are some natural immune-boosting foods:
Broccoli is one of the healthiest vegetables, rich in antioxidant vitamins, containing vitamins A, C and E, and also fibre. Broccoli is also a great source of iron, which is known to contribute to the normal function of the immune system. To gain the most nutrients out of this delicious vegetable, cook it as little as possible or not at all.
Ginger is a natural anti-inflammatory, so it supports the body in all kinds of ways when consumed as a tea, pastille or in its pure form. Best known for supporting digestion, ginger supports the body’s natural defences and immune system.
Yoghurt with live and active cultures, such as Greek yoghurt, may help to support your gut’s microbiome and the bacteria that live in your digestive system. By feeding these bacteria well, they help to protect you from bugs from the inside. Yoghurt is also high in vitamin D, which is known to help support the immune system.
Try to avoid sugary and pre-flavoured yoghurts, instead of flavour plain yoghurt yourself with honey and fruit, which is a healthier option.
Green tea is well known for having many benefits for the body. It contains EGCG (epigallocatechin gallate) which has been shown to help protect our bodies by reinforcing the body's natural defence against the harmful effects of free radicals. Green tea extract generally provides powerful antioxidants beneficial to human health, to protect against early ageing.
Poultry, such as chicken, is high in vitamin B6 which supports many chemical reactions and functions in the body, including the immune system. You can ingest additional vitamins and minerals from poultry by making stock or broth by boiling the bones and carcasses which naturally contain chondroitin, calcium and other nutrients.
Packed with nutrients, sunflower seeds are rich sources of phosphorus, magnesium, and vitamin B6. Vitamin B6 helps to support the normal function of the immune system. They are also high in vitamin E, which is an antioxidant vitamin, and contributes to the protection of cells from oxidative stress.
Blueberries are well known for their antioxidant properties due to them containing a specific flavonoid called anthocyanin. These little berries also contain vitamins C and A which support the normal function of the immune system, plus potassium and dietary fibre.
Consuming this yellow spice may benefit your immune system due to it containing curcumin, a compound in turmeric which helps to control inflammatory responses within the body. Curcumin also helps to reduce oxidative stress and has antioxidant-like properties.