In colder months it can become quite easy to break every good nutrition habit you built during the warmer seasons. But finding comfort in front of the fire and television on a wet and windy night is the perfect opportunity for planning healthy nutritious meals that not only satisfy but provide nutritional benefits. With some planning, there are so many simple and effective food hacks that can help ward off or reduce the severity of a seasonal nasty while strengthening and supporting immune function.
Cook super soups
Chicken Soup got famous for a reason, its jam packed with medicinal properties, helps you stay hydrated, nourishes a poor appetite and raises the temperature of the airways which help loosen secretions. Invest a large soup pot and experiment with slow cooking methods like soups, broths, casseroles and stews.
Eat the rainbow
Nourish your body by eating antioxidant rich seasonal vegetables and fruit. Don’t be shy with the garlic and onion, as it’s within this allium family of vegetables that are used for the basis of so many dishes that induce many healing properties. Make sure you choose seasonal vegetables as not only will they taste better, but they will be more affordable. Up your citrus fruits and berries as they are an excellent source of vitamin C which helps maintain the body’s defence against bacterial infections.
Abundant herbs and spices
Yes, they make our food taste delicious, but did you know herbs like echinacea, astragalus, cinnamon, cayenne pepper, olive leaf, garlic, ginger, horseradish and turmeric also have powerful healing properties and boost our metabolism.
Tea is beaming with antioxidants and can also help us sleep. Sip some of my favourites including green tea, peppermint tea, chamomile tea, lavender tea and lemongrass tea.
We all know water hydrates us, but it also helps remove toxins from the body and regulates our temperature. An easy way to make sure you drink enough is to watch the clock and drink water on the hour, every hour. If you really struggle to remember to sip the good stuff you can set an hourly alarm.
Lower sugar, dairy, caffeine & alcohol
When you feel a cold coming on, I highly recommend cutting these four foods and drinks down to not put any more pressure on your already busy immune system. Let the energy be used in a better way to keep illness at bay.
Eat gut friendly foods
Around 80% of your immune system lives in your gut, so the bacteria found in your intestines plays a critical role in your immunity. Source and eat gut friendly foods such as fermented vegetables like kimchi and sauerkraut, homemade kombucha, kefir and live cultured yoghurt.