With Winter now upon us, along comes the flu and common cold season as our immune system prepares to batten down the hatches for a turbulent defence against bugs and viruses. We are so susceptible to our environment that the reduced light, warmth and colour of winter can leave you feeling melancholy, tired and irritable
There comes a certain point in the year when people start to drop like flies around us with colds and flu, but lo and behold there is actually something we can do with regards to our diet to help support our immune system and keep the body and mind healthy this winter.
Below, I give my top five foods to eat at winter from seafood to fruits – it’s important to make sure we take care of ourselves!
Red Bell Peppers
Citrus fruits are commonly hailed as the food that most effectively boost vitamin C and fight colds. However, scrumptious Bell peppers actually contain over three times the vitamin C of an orange and are far more effective. A large quantity of concentrated vitamin C can be found in the red variety of Bell peppers as well as in Broccoli and Cauliflower which are also particularly high in vitamin C. Red Bell peppers also contain phytochemicals and carotenoids (which gives it the pigment), particularly beta-carotene, which bestow you with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits.
They have antiviral and antibacterial properties to fight infection. Button mushrooms in particular are a great source of vitamin D, which helps to boost your immunity. Mushrooms are provide a range of essential nutrients like selenium which an antioxidant, as well as niacin, potassium copper and phosphorous. Additionally, mushrooms provide protein, vitamin C and iron. Make sure to boil/cook your mushrooms well to truly enjoy their nutritional benefits as their cell walls are indigestible unless exposed to heat.
Foods high in Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids like Oysters, salmon, mackerel and tuna are immensely helpful in fighting inflammation. Oysters are particularly rich in zinc, which can help prevent your flu-virus from multiplying. Seafood is packed with protein, which is of enormous importance to keep up your strength and fight illness. Omega-3 fatty acids also have a scientifically proven relationship with prevention or mitigation of common chronic diseases.
Wild blueberries contain the most active antioxidants of any fresh fruit, all thanks to their high levels of anthocyanins. This irrevocably makes them one of the best foods to combat aging. Antioxidants help in reversing the damage left by toxins and free radicals by helping your body to defend itself against dangerous pathogens. As a source of soluble and insoluble fibre, blueberries can also help regulate your gastrointestinal track by just eating a couple handfuls a day.
Turmeric may be the one of the most effective nutritional supplement in existence, having immense major benefits for your body and brain. Turmeric is found to fight infection and inflammation by preventing damage caused by free radicals (atom with unpaired electron – introduced from outside e.g. from tobacco smoke, toxins, or pollutants and that can damage cells). Turmeric is also an important anti-ageing agent as it dramatically increases the antioxidant capacity of the body.
Nosh Detox develops food and juice programmes that address a multitude of health and well-being issues, from treating problem skin, to weight issues, digestive problems to coping with stress and building the body’s natural defences to fight infections.