It’s that time of year where the weather changes, unfortunately this change in the weather also brings about sore throats and runny noses.
It’s time to make sure your fuelling your body with the right foods and nutrients to help support your immune system. Including these foods in your everyday diet may help with preventing as well as reducing the severity and duration of cold and flu symptoms.
Garlic: Numerous clinical studies have reported the therapeutic effects of garlic to have anti-microbial, anti-fungal, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. To get the most immune boosting support from garlic it is best to crush or chop 10 minutes before use and consuming garlic raw will provide a higher level of support as some of the properties that give garlic these benefits are destroyed by heat.
Ginger: Ginger is warming and perfect on a cold day. It has the ability to calm the digestive system and relieve nausea. Ginger is also reported to minimise symptoms of colds and allergies of the respiratory system. When using ginger for therapeutic effects fresh is best as it contains higher amounts of the active compounds gingerols and you don’t need much. The active compounds in ginger are highly concentrated, for anti nausea effects seep 1/2- 1 inch slices of ginger in a cup of hot water.
Turmeric: Turmeric is from the same family as ginger; Zingiberaceae family. One of the many biologically active compounds found in turmeric is curcumin. This highly studied compound has therapeutic actions as an antioxidant, anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory and detoxifying activities. Much like ginger you don’t need much to receive its health benefits. As little as 50 mg per day over several months has been linked with health benefits. Add to curries, stir frys, salad dressings, flavour rice, roasted vegetables or mixed into an egg salad.
Berries: Berries are high in vitamin C, E, iron, magnesium, quercetin, zinc and low GI resulting with a low impact on your blood sugar levels. Berries such as blueberries, raspberries, strawberries and cranberries are a great addition to your diet to boost your immune system and for antioxidant, antibacterial and anti-inflammatory actions. When choosing berries, fresh or frozen is perfect. Studies have shown that the freezing process of berries has a low damaging effect towards the anthocyanin antioxidants. If possible choose organic berries to maximise the antioxidant benefits.
Citrus fruits: Orange, lime, lemon, grapefruit and mandarin are known for their vitamin C content and the vital role vitamin C plays in supporting the immune system citrus fruits are a great addition to your diet. Vitamin C decreases the length and severity of cold symptoms also providing antioxidant activity at sites of inflammation. Other vegetables with good amounts of vitamin C are broccoli, kale, capsicum and cauliflower.
Fresh fruits and vegetables: Ensuring your consuming a wide variety of fresh fruits and vegetables will ensure your giving your body a wide range of vitamins, minerals and fibre and the health benefits that come along with them. Much like berries aim to consume organic fruits and vegetables as possible to reduce exposure to toxins and unhealthy compounds that may disrupt your immune system. Visit your local farmers market for fresh in season produce.
Water: Keeping your water intake up at times of illness or prevention of illness is vital. Processes such as digestion, absorption, transportation, dissolving nutrients and elimination of waste products would not occur without water. Check out an earlier post on water and ways to Drink it up.
Seeing a Nutritionist for detailed individualised nutritional support is also a great way to make sure your on the right to track to supporting your immune system and health.
Nutritional appointments are available with Joanna on Wednesdays between 12-5pm at Fusion Hot Yoga, Kangaroo point, Qld.
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org to make an appointment.