It’s freezing outside and everyone seems to be falling ill. The work environment is seriously testing your immune system, and a lot of you are failing to drag yourselves to the gym. We’re all being told to eat well, exercise regularly, avoid stress and get plenty of rest, but will this be enough? Add these three ingredients to your diet to help safeguard your immune system.
Vitamin C is particularly helpful in the winter months when your body’s defences need a timely boost. Good sources of vitamin C include raw vegetables, chilli peppers, kale and broccoli. Try and load your meals with these foods to help defend your body from colds and flu. Bear in mind also that our stores of this vitamin are significantly reduced if you smoke or drink regularly.
Vitamin D is harder for your body to manufacture in winter because it is not exposed to much sun during the shorter winter days. Therefore you may need to take a vitamin D supplement to enable your body to absorb calcium properly. Research studies also suggest that vitamin D is vital for protecting the body against infections.
Pungent ingredients like garlic are great for fighting against flu and other viral infections, so add a few cloves to your soups and meals. While the rest of the UK coughs and sneezes its way through the winter weeks, you can use garlic to halt viruses before they infect you. Thanks to its chemical compound, allicin, garlic has rightly gained a reputation as a strong virus buster.
Throughout India, turmeric is widely used to treat cold, congestion, coughs and skin ailments. Often recognised as an ingredient used in curries, turmeric has a wide range of antiviral properties, including minerals and vitamins. Not only does it boost the immune system, but it helps to lower cholesterol too, so pack some of the yellow powder into your next meal. Indians traditionally drink hot milk with turmeric powder to help fight illnesses, so why not give that a try too?