As we trudge through the winter months, it becomes increasingly difficult to keep our immune systems up and to stay healthy. In order to ward off the flu and common cold, give your body a head start and take a look at what’s in your kitchen. No matter how delicious your cooking is, if you don’t use the right ingredients, you are short changing your immune system. You can’t expect a Ferrari to run at top performance on regular gas just as you can’t expect your body to run on top performance when you eat junk food. You want to be at the top of your game and have lots of energy during the winter and probably don’t have time to take a week off because of illnesses. Good health begins with what you fuel your body with, so instead of filling your fridge full of butter and iceberg lettuce, try keeping your fridge stocked with these immunity boosting foods.
Chicken noodle soup
Chicken Noodle soup seems to be a universal comfort and rightfully so. Consuming the broth helps get you the fluid that you need to keep off viruses. The hot broth also thins mucous to fight congestion. To get even more of an immune boost from your soup, load it full of colorful veggies such as carrots and peas. Don’t forget to add onion and garlic! Onions and garlic contain antiseptics when combined which destroy harmful bacteria found in your body.
If there is such a thing as good germs, you can find them in yogurt. Instead of antibiotics, yogurt contains probiotics that are found naturally in your digestive system. These help promote a healthy digestive tract and can boost your immune system. That’s not all when it comes to yogurt. Calcium, animal protein, vitamins, potassium, and magnesium are all found in yogurt and help contribute to your overall health.
Good blueberries can be hard to come by in the winter but if you are lucky enough to do so then your immune system is in for a treat. Blueberries are full of antioxidants to help your immune system fight off illnesses and disease. Add them into your morning yogurt or put them in a mixed green salad for some extra flavor.
Can’t complain about getting lots of vitamin C! Citrus fruits are packed full of this cold fighting vitamin and they are full of flavor. If you live in an area where you don’t always have the best selection of fruit, try getting your vitamin C from other foods such as broccoli, tomatoes and sweet potatoes.
Tea and Honey
The perfect duo. Black and green teas contain lots of antioxidants and drinking them hot helps to thin mucous and fight congestion. Add honey into the mix and you can’t go wrong. The antioxidant and antimicrobial properties that are found in honey help to fight off infections from bacteria, viruses and fungus. Honey also coats the throat which can help sooth it if it’s sore or scratchy.
Cassie Corbett is nutritionist and culinary enthusiast. She writes for the cookware distributor shopworldkitchen.com.