With winter well and truly upon us, we find ourselves searching for tips, tricks and potions that promise to keep coughs and colds at bay.
While a single food may not hold the answer to stopping a cold in its tracks, there is a powerful combination of foods that will help keep your immune system in tip top condition—your best natural defence against coughs and colds.
Give your immune system a helping hand by making sure your shopping basket includes:
Healthy gut foods
It all starts in your tummy—a healthy immune system needs to be supported by good gut bacteria. For this you need prebiotics and probiotics.
You’ll find probiotics (live bacteria that are beneficial to your gut microbiome) in some fermented foods and most supermarkets are now stocking a much larger range. More important than probiotics, you’ll need the prebiotics that feed them. Our healthy gut bacteria depends daily on the special prebiotic-rich fibre they receive.
Need another reason to eat avocado on toast? Healthy fats can help regulate your immune system’s response to infection, so make sure your shopping basket includes foods like avocado or nuts. A handful of nuts at least five times a week can provide a good source of zinc, which also helps to boost immunity.
Phytonutrients are chemicals released from plants to help them stay healthy. We can reap the same benefits by eating plenty of plant foods.
Why not try some of our shopping basket essentials for a strong immune system?
Shopping basket essentials
Healthy gut foods. Keep your gut happy by eating foods full of probiotics (sourdough, kefir, yoghurts and sauerkraut) and prebiotics (whole grains, legumes, and veggies like Jerusalem artichokes, asparagus and onions).
Healthy fats. Healthy fats are really beneficial to our immune system, so fill your shopping basket with yummy foods like avocado, almonds, cashews, walnuts and olive oil. These will help boost your immunity and protect your immune system from infection.
Powerful plants. Eat the rainbow! Plants contain so much natural goodness and our shopping baskets should be full of them. During your next shop, throw in some coriander, turmeric, cumin, carrots, berries, spinach and lots of other spices, herbs and veggies to stay fighting fit this winter.