5 Superfoods to boost your immunity this winter
As we head into Autumn, it won't be long before the colder, darker nights start to draw in. At this time of year it's especially important to keep our immune systems healthy and to look after our bodies.
Nutrition is a big part of that and a superfood that is nutritionally dense can play a key role in keeping our immune system in tip top shape. What makes a superfood super? The term superfood is used to describe a food that offers us real health benefits and are packed with antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals.
Our immune systems are very complex, so there is no single food group that we can eat that will magically effect our immune cells and system. All these superfoods work their best when part of a varied, balanced and healthy diet, where they can all work together so our immune system has enough nutrients to be effective and do their job as best they can when fighting off winter colds and viruses.
So without further ado, here is our list of 5 superfoods to boost your immunity this winter. These foods all have fantastic immune boosting properties to help keep those winter colds at bay by helping keep your immune system fit and healthy.
1. Citrus Fruits: Lemons, Limes & Oranges
Citrus fruits are an amazing food. They are inexpensive, easily and readily available, while being packed with Vitamin C and other anti-inflammatory nutrients. It's not just for the refreshing taste that many of us choose to start the day with a glass of fresh orange juice, Vitamin C is a great way to strengthen our immunity against viruses and pathogens.
Citrus fruits also provide us with a good source of vitamin A and vitamin B9 which are also important for the immune system. Squeezing lemons or limes over iron rich foods like vegetable greens and beans can also help your body absorb the iron it needs far more efficiently.
Vitamin C is a very a powerful antioxidant that helps boost and maintain your immune system. It also promotes the production of white blood cells, which are key to fighting off infections. Because of the higher levels of this important vitamin and versatility of citrus fruits, you can be in no doubt that they are one of the best superfoods around when it comes to boosting your immune system.
Garlic has been praised for its health benefits for a very long time, dating back hundreds of years in text books! It's said to have great anti-inflammatory effects and is an anti-viral and antioxidant. Garlic is rich in vitamin B6 and a good source of manganese, selenium and vitamin C, as well as other important minerals such as calcium, potassium, iron and copper.
Garlic also contains an active ingredient called Allicin, which gives it the distinctive smell. Chopping or crushing garlic is said to stimulate the production of Allicin and there has been some evidence to show that Allicin can help fight off colds and other viral infections. This combined with its vitamin and mineral content makes garlic another great superfood ingredient for looking after the immune system.
Ginger root has commonly been used to boost the immune system, help stop inflammation and treat common colds and flu. This superfood is a strong antioxidant as well as having antimicrobial, antiseptic, and antibiotic properties.
Ginger is also a very versatile ingredient that can be used in teas, cakes, breads and biscuits - as well as a spicy addition to many savoury dishes. It's never difficult to add some of this amazing food to your diet and it can help keep your immune system strong and functioning at its very best.
Bell peppers are excellent sources of vitamins C and are a great superfood for giving your immune system a boost and helping it perform its essential functions. They also contain vitamin B6 and folic acid which are great for reducing stroke and heart attack risks. They can be chopped up and used in salads, added to pizzas or cooked into many winter dishes. The antioxidants in peppers can neutralize free radicals which can help alleviate many symptoms of asthma and arthritis too.
If you like heat in your food then chilli peppers can also be very useful for flushing out toxins and clearing congestion if you do get a seasonal virus.
Last but not in anyway least (and maybe unsurprisingly!) on our superfoods list is honey.
Honey is full of amino acids, vitamins, minerals, carbohydrates, and antioxidants. It also has antimicrobial properties which can reduce inflammation. Daily consumption of honey can really help strengthen our immune system. Its antioxidant, antimicrobial and antibacterial properties can help fight infections from viruses and bacteria.
A single teaspoon of Just Bee Vitamin Honey contains 25% of your recommended daily allowance of Vitamin C, B6 and B12 to support your immune system.
If you use our Vitamin Honey with Lemon and Ginger you can also gain the health benefits from those extra ingredients too! It's a truly supercharged superfood!
We encourage everyone to get creative with these ingredients and use them as part of a well-rounded balanced diet where they can do their job of helping our immune system function at its very best. If you are feeling run down or a little under the weather, give them a try in combination with other foods, or as a warm honey drink!