In winter, the office sniffles are prevalent. The chilly weather makes us run down and therefore more susceptible to catching a bug (or the plague, as most man-flu victims would call it).
Fluey symptoms can prevent you from feeling 100% for weeks and unfortunately, according to science, the common cold has no cure. However, w’ve put together a list of good old, natural ingredients that can help boost your immune system and perhaps avoid you being hit so hard.
The main compound in turmeric is curcumin; a strong anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory that helps to fight incoming bacteria. Studies have shown that curcumin can help to prevent muscle soreness so definitely worth a try to alleviate post leg day pains!
Turmeric has been used for many years in Asian cooking, giving Indian curries their signature yellow colour. Mix into curries, or sprinkle onto chicken before stir-frying.
Ginger is an amazingly accessible, cold-busting ingredient. It has multiple health benefits and its pungent flavour means a little goes a long way.
Ginger can help to relieve nausea and maintain healthy digestion, so it’s great for those with stomach issues.
Ginger is also a natural decongestant - perfect to alleviate that pesky blocked nose. Try stewing fresh root ginger in hot water to ease throat pain and instantly feel its nutritional benefits. Keeping hydrated is important in your every day diet, and especially so when you’re sick.
Try my recipe below that incorporates ginger and turmeric to enhance your immune system.
Orange, ginger and turmeric shot
This shot is so quick and can be made in larger quantities and frozen in an ice cube tray. Just take one out to defrost overnight and drink in the morning for a great start to the day!
Makes one shot
- Juice of one orange
- 2cm piece of grated ginger
- ½ tsp ground turmeric
- Drop of honey
Blend the ingredients, strain through a sieve to get rid of the ginger pulp and down!
Almonds (and other nuts like hazelnuts) contain vitamin E - another powerful anti-oxidant. Nuts also contain zinc, which can make you less vulnerable to infection. Studies have shown that zinc can help to reduce the severity of a cold.
Nut butter is a delicious way to incorporate zinc in your diet. We eat it with just about everything; spread on toast, stir through porridge, blend into a smoothie, eat from the jar with a spoon…
Not only do we need protein for fuel, it also strengthens our immune system. Antibodies are proteins that help to fight viruses in the body. Try and consume more protein if you’re struck down with the cold, as your body will have to work harder to fight infection.
Get some classic chicken soup down you; this remedy really won’t get old! Salmon is a great source of protein as well as vitaman D and omega-3’s that also strengthen your immune system. For all you veggies, load up on beans, pulses and eggs.
Probably most commonly associated with supporting the immune system, vitamin C isn’t produced in the body; we need to obtain it externally. Luckily, it’s present in many fruits and vegetables such as broccoli, spinach, citrus fruit and berries.
The bright colour typical of blueberries and raspberries comes from pigments called anthocyanins, which have anti-inflammatory properties. Whip up a quick berry smoothie for breakfast to reap the benefits. A vitamin C deficiency can be associated with a cold’s frequency and duration, so eat plenty greens too!
This winter, turn to nature and enjoy these immunity-boosting superfoods alongside a healthy balanced diet for when your body needs it most!