It’s that time of year - it’s getting cooler, and those nasty colds are doing the rounds.
Luckily, there’s plenty you can do to fight them off and boost your immune system this winter.
Make sure you’re sleeping well, avoiding stress, staying hydrated and doing regular exercise, and you’ll be well on your way to avoiding those dreaded illnesses.
Of course, food plays a big role too. It’s always important to have a healthy, balanced diet, but try improving yours by ensuring you eat breakfast every day and reducing your caffeine intake.
Eating the right foods will keep you on track for a healthy winter too.
There are lots of fruits and veg that contain key vitamins and minerals for boosting your immune system - think, broccoli, bell pepper, turnips, carrots, tomatoes, mushrooms, apples, to name a few!
But, here are some of our favourites…
Ginger is great for eating this winter - not only does it have lots of health benefits, but it’s really easy to add to your everyday cooking.
Packed with vitamins and nutrients, it has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties to keep those nasty colds at bay.
On top of that, it can even reduce nausea and may help fight bacteria and viruses, too.
Especially combined with lemon, ginger is a great way to positively impact your immune system.
Like with everything, you should only eat ginger in moderation, but try using it in our immunity bombs for an instant boost, or add it to smoothies and curries to really feel the benefits.
It’s the vitamin C that makes citrus fruits so good for winter.
Not only is vitamin C great for boosting the immune system and reducing the symptoms of the common cold, but it’s good for your skin as well.
That’s not to mention all the other vitamins and minerals hiding inside citrus fruits, some of which are key to helping your body function, and some of which have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.
Of course, it’s more beneficial to eat the actual fruit rather than just drinking the fruit juice, so try adding orange to Greek yoghurt for breakfast, or snacking on some grapefruit to get that healthy vitamin boost.
Because it’s so popular in everyday cooking, garlic is another really simple way of giving your immune system a little boost this winter.
Not only does it have compounds that help you fight germs, but the antioxidants can protect against inflammation and cell damage, and it’s even shown to have antimicrobial effects.
That’s why it’s been suggested that garlic can protect against infections like the flu.
Just add it to your salads or soups, smoothies or juices, to get that little health boost everyday.
To get the most out of your garlic, make sure you leave it to sit for a few minutes after you chop or mince it, so the enzymes have time to work properly.
If you’re cooking with it, the more you use, the better, but don’t let it get too hot or the beneficial compounds could be destroyed.
Spinach is a very nutrient-rich food, packed with antioxidants, and lots of vitamin C, vitamin K, iron and calcium.
It’s these which makes spinach a great way for boosting immunity and fighting off infection.
Spinach is even said to help improve eye health and lower cholesterol too, making it a great all-rounder.
You’ll really feel the benefit when you gently cook it so it keeps all its nutrients. Try adding it to eggs at breakfast, or using it in a curry at dinnertime.
We couldn’t finish the list without adding sweet potatoes.
They’re full of antioxidants, vitamin A, vitamin C, and minerals like potassium, making them a great way to keep your immune system happy and healthy.
That’s not to mention that they’re said to have anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties.
It doesn’t matter how you cook sweet potato, you’ll always get the benefits from them.
So, whether you roast them for soup, or bake them into your sweet treats, they’ll always make a tasty and healthy addition to your meals.