A healthy body is dependent on a healthy immune system. With winter on our doorstep, now is the time to give your immune system a kickstart by incorporating immune-boosting foods into your diet. Here, we list the top 5 foods you should be consuming this winter to stay well. Bon appetit!
Avoid this one if you have a hot date for the night, but otherwise aim to consume several serves of cooked garlic a week and two raw cloves a day. Garlic contains allicin, a potent phytonutrient which helps protects the body against infection and illness. Garlic also lowers blood pressure and promotes good cholesterol levels. Want to know more? Check out this UK study, which found participants who consumed garlic had significantly fewer colds and recovered faster if infected.
Tumeric has been used medicinally for thousands of years as part of the Ayurvedic system of medicine in India. The active ingredient in turmeric, curcumin, is anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial. It has been used to treat arthritis, asthma, eczema and inflammatory bowel disease. A 2012 study found curcumin caused “modest but measurable increases” in levels of a protein called cathelicidin antimicrobial peptide. This protein helps our immune systems to fight off various bacteria, viruses and fungi. Add a few tablespoons of this amazing antioxidant spice to your scrambled eggs, roasted vegetables, curries or smoothies.
Ginger is a fantastic source of antioxidants and helps boost the immune system by overcoming cellular damage. It also has the ability to inhibit the formation of inflammatory compounds and helps promote good digestion. The cancer-preventing capacity of ginger has been well documented. Moreover, consuming ginger has been shown to reduce muscle pain after intense physical activity. Read more about becoming a ginger ninja here. Add ginger to your smoothies, food recipes or tea.
Some people have some very interesting ideas about the benefits of consuming pineapples, but let’s not go there. What we can tell you for sure is that these babies are bursting with B group vitamins and vitamin C, and are therefore good for immune function. Bromelain, an enzyme found in pineapples, has been shown to reduce inflammation and hay fever symptoms, and to slow blood-clotting. Alas, pineapples are loaded with sugar, so be careful about overindulging.
Popeye was on to a good thing with all that spinach consumption. This superfood is jam-packed with antioxidants and beta-carotene, which helps our immune systems to fight infection. It is also high in magnesium, vitamin C and folic acid, and a cup of spinach contains more potassium than a cup of sliced bananas. A great way to boost your intake is to throw a handful of spinach leaves into your morning smoothie. Yum!
At Muscle Freedom, we believe in taking a holistic approach to health. We hope you feel inspired to eat well this winter and stay healthy.