Winter is in the air and with the change of weather its common to see more coughs, colds and general sniffles – and there are little gems hiding in the pantry and herb garden that can help to boost your general immune system and get you back to feeling your best in no time at all.
GINGER (Zingiber officinale):
A popular kitchen staple, this little herb has a wide variety of health benefits. Ginger has warming properties, perfect for the wintertime! Not only does ginger warm our whole body it can also warm our digestive system so that we are able to break down and utilise our nutrients more efficiently! This means that our body is able to enjoy more of what we put in. You can enjoy ginger grated with a little honey in warm water, added to smoothies, soups or salad dressings.
TURMERIC (Curcuma longa)
Turmeric is a rather popular spice at the moment, and rightly so! Turmeric is rich in the compound curcumin, this anti-inflammatory powerhouse that is supporting peoples aches and pains, helps gets blood moving and even helps to warm the body. You can now find fresh turmeric from most supermarkets and fresh food grocer! Try adding it fresh into soups and casseroles or make a delicious golden milk tea.
THYME (Thymus Vulgaris):
This common garden herb has delicious immune supporting properties! If you have it in your garden you can pop it into a mug with a little boiling water and honey and enjoy throughout the winter! Thyme has a strong flavour and is often used to help reduce the symptoms of a sore throat, improve the symptoms of the common cold and boost overall immunity.
GARLIC (Allium sativum)
It is rather uncommon to find a kitchen without garlic, not only does it make your pasta sauce delicious it also supports our health and wellbeing. Garlic is rich in alliin, a suphur-containing compound which as been found to support immune health. There are studies to suggest that consuming garlic can also prevent us getting sick – there is a trick however, Alliin is strongest when crushed and deteriorates quickly so for immune health best to crush and add into a meal moments before serving.
SEASONAL BRIGHT VEGETABLES (Carrots, Pumpkin, Beetroot, Eggplant…)
Fresh seasonal produce is always a winner for health and wellbeing, interesting the foods grown in winter are the ones we need to help fight off a cold and help us recover faster. Fruits and vegetables bursting in colour are rich in antioxidants, vitamins and minerals – all which work on preventing illness and support the recovery process.
NUTS AND SEEDS
Rich in protein to support cellular repair, hormone development and energy production as well as being a delicious source of minerals such as Zinc, Calcium, Selenium – nuts and seeds are a delicious addition to the immunity first aid kit. Enjoying the zinc rich seeds such as pumpkin and sunflower seeds or even having them as a paste can help get daily nutrient levels up.