How to boost your immune system this winter? These 5 superfoods will help!
“Winter is the time for comfort, for good food and warmth, for the touch of a friendly hand and for a talk beside the fire: it is the time for home.” Indeed, one could hardly argue with these words of the British poet and writer Edith Sitwell.
However, every day we still have to go out and hit the streets, even during the frosty winter months. And it may not always be as nice as sitting at home by the fireplace, drinking warm tea and observing falling snowflakes in the window.
In winter, our skin gets dryer, hair becomes brittle and dull and many people often get an unpleasant feeling of sore throat, stuffy nose, fatigue and fever – classical symptoms of a flu.
Here are 5 amazing superfoods that will help your immune system overcome the difficult winter period:
Cranberry is one of the world’s healthiest foods. This red-colored berry is extremely reach in vitamins C and D, dietary fiber, potassium and iron. The abundant health benefits of cranberries are due to the synergy of cranberry nutrients. That’s why it’s important to consume the entire cranberry and, if possible, fresh. This wonderful berry will bring you the antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer benefits. Despite the fact that the taste of cranberry might be quite tart, it is easy to incorporate cranberry into your diet, here is how you can do it:
– Make a homemade mix of dried cranberries, unsalted nuts and various seeds. You can always carry this healthy snack in your purse for those “just in case” moments when you might get hungry.
– Include fresh cranberries into your homemade fruit smoothie.
– Mix fresh cranberries with a little bit of sugar or honey in a blender and eat this mix with wholegrain bread, instead of your usual confiture or jam in the morning.
– Add dried or fresh cranberries to your morning oatmeal or muesli.
– Toss dried or fresh cranberries into your favorite cake for an extra flavor when you bake.
How to boost your immune system? Drink Chamomile tea. Chamomile is a natural source of minerals, such as copper, potassium, zinc, iron, phosphorus, magnesium, vitamin C, and vitamin B1. Drinking camomile tea helps digestion, relieves fever, sore throat, aches and pains due to colds or flu, calms nervous system and helps fight insomnia. Here is how you can easily prepare the camomile tea: use about one tablespoon of dried camomile herb per cup of water. Pour hot water over the herbs and allow it to steep for about 5 minutes. Strain and enjoy.
Honey is probably a number one superfood that can not only boost our immune system, but also is very delicious and, on my opinion, it should be on our table every day. Bees swallow, digest and regurgitate nectar to make honey. This nectar contains almost 600 compounds, such as glucose, fructose and minerals: iron, calcium, phosphate, sodium chlorine, potassium, magnesium. Beside its great taste, honey is a natural source of carbohydrates, which provide strength and energy to our bodies. If you are feeling low or you need some energy for a workout, drink a cup of tea with one or two teaspoons of honey or eat it with a piece of bread. The glucose in honey is quickly absorbed by the body, which will give you an instant energy boost. Due to it’s antioxidant and anti-bacterial properties, honey can help improve digestion, help you stay healthy and fight disease with ease.
4. Vitamin E
Vitamin E is the key to strong immune system, healthy skin, gorgeous hair and healthy eyes. Vitamin E is an antioxidant that protects your cells from free radicals damage and repairs your skin. It’s also known to have moisturizing properties and is widely used in various skin care and hair care products. Vitamin E also enhances benefits of other vitamins, such as vitamin A and vitamin C. Combined, these vitamins work in unison and harmony together and provide the greatest benefit for the skin, hair and overall health. As a supplement, vitamin E can be bought in pharmacies or in health food stores. However, numerous foods can also provide vitamin E: nuts, seeds, vegetable oils, green leafy vegetables and fortified cereals.
Yes, chocolate lovers, this part of article is for you! Well, health benefits of chocolate are quite arguable. On one hand, cocoa beens are reach in flavonids that protect plants from environmental toxins and help repair damage. These can be found in a variety of foods, such as fruits and vegetables. When we eat foods rich in flavonoids, it appears that we also benefit from this antioxidant power. In addition, flavonids have other beneficial influences on our health, such as lowering blood pressure and improving blood flow to the brain and heart. On the another hand, most commercial chocolates are highly processed and contain loads of milk, sugar and butter, which, of course, add calories and almost cancel benefits of cocoa. However, it’s proven that chocolate helps us handle stress much easier and boosts our brain power. Moreover, wonderful taste of chocolate brings us the feeling of ‘happiness’ and satisfaction. Don’t hesitate to take a small piece of chocolate to lift up your spirits when you need a boost. But be careful: it should be a small piece and the bar should contain no less than 70% cocoa.
Enjoy your winter! Feel free to share other tips on how to boost your immune system in the comment section below.