If you want to avoid succumbing to countless sniffles and colds during the colder months, there are a number of steps you can take. Keeping wrapped up when outside and making sure your home is warm is a must, but you should also consider the types of foods you eat to help boost your immunity.
Handpicked article: How exactly do we develop immunity?
Next time you go to make yourself a hot chocolate or cup of tea, try sprinkling in some cinnamon. Not only is it the most festive smell around, cinnamon is great for your gut and immune system as a whole. It can reduce bacteria’s ability to multiply, and if you do end up suffering from a cold, it should help it clear up quicker. You could try mixing it with raw honey, which has similar properties.
You need to make sure that your body has plenty of vitamin C during the colder months as it helps your body fight off infections. Vitamin C can’t be stored by your body so you need to try and incorporate foods that are rich in vitamin C every day. If you’re not a fan of oranges then you could try eating more tomatoes, peas and peppers, take a vitamin C supplement or drink hot lemon
They can be tricky to get hold of at this time of year but watermelons contain citrulline, which helps keep your heart healthy, and they’re rich in vitamins A, C and B6 too. Their red flesh supplies your body with lycopene, helping your bones stay strong and your immune system balanced.
When it comes to choosing your five-a-day, make sure broccoli becomes a firm favourite as it’s bursting with nutrients and contains choline which is good for your gut. Instead of cooking your broccoli, try to eat it raw if you can, as it’s more nutritious this way. Similar vegetables that are classed as super foods when it comes to your immune system include sprouts, kale and cauliflower.
If you want to be as healthy as possible you need to make sure your body has enough zinc. There are a number of different ways you can do this. You can take a zinc supplement or try eating oysters, eggs, mushrooms, chicken, pumpkin seeds or cashew nuts more regularly. Zinc is needed for white blood cell production so your body can fight off infection and for healthy skin, hair and nails.
Instead of pouring milk on your cereal in the morning, why not add a dollop of yoghurt instead? You need to choose a yoghurt that contains friendly bacteria as these help your immune system fight against bad bacteria in the gut. They can also encourage your body to produce more white blood cells.
Handpicked article: What exactly is natural immunity?