5 Immune-Boosting Foods To Cook With This Winter

When it comes to winter time, protecting yourself against colds and flu can be extremely tough. There are a number of steps you can take to give your body an immune boost which include: not smoking; managing stress; exercising regularly and eating nutrient dense meals.

We’ve been working with Simplyhealth to support their awesome #MyEveryStep campaign, which looks at the steps you can take (no matter how big or small) to lead a healthier life. We’ve put together this list of powerful immune boosters to include in your diet to help keep those germs at bay.

 
  1. Citrus Fruits

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When we fall ill, most of turn to Vitamin C to help us battle infection. This is because Vitamin C is thought to help produce white blood cells which fight infection.

Foods such oranges, tangerines, lemons and limes are great options. We recommend snacking on an orange at work each day or adding half a lemon and lime to your water bottle to give it a lovely flavour as well as immune boosting properties.

 

2. Red Peppers

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Red Peppers actually contain twice as much Vitamin C as most Citrus foods. They’re also packed with beta carotene which contributes to healthy skin and eyes.

Red peppers are easy to include in your salads to give them a lovely fresh crunch or you can try adding them to bolognese and curry dishes.

 

3. Root Vegetables

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Winter is a great time to oven bake a load of root vegetables like carrots and sweet potatoes which are packed with beta-carotene and Vitamin A.

Cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage and kale are high in sulfur compounds that help boost immunity.

Aim to fill half of your plate with these foods.

 

4. Zinc-Rich Foods

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Tinned beans, chicken, spinach, red meat, and more are all examples of zinc-rich foods. In moderate quantities, this micronutrient is key for the development and daily function of the immune system.

A bowl of hot chicken soup served with a dash of pepper is an example of a warm, Zinc-rich dish to enjoy year-round. As a bonus, chicken soup has even been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties.

 

5. Ginger & Garlic

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These two flavour powerhouses are prime ingredients to use when cooking Indian and Chinese cuisine. They’re perfect flavouring options to add to your meals and research shows they also support your immune system.

Garlic contain sulphur compounds that boost the immune function of white blood cells. It also increases the rate of production of cells that fight infections.

Ginger is an excellent antioxidant that helps eradicate dangerous free radicals. A few slices of ginger, served in hot water mixed with honey is a great remedy to ease a sore throat. Ginger also boosts an upset stomach and helps digestion.

James Long