Keeping your immunity strong is a great way to help fend off dreaded winter coughs and sniffles. When you pick up a virus, your immune system kicks into gear to help protect your body. There are plenty of remedies to ward off winter sniffles, but do the old wives’ tales like hot honey and lemon drinks really work?
DRINK YOUR GREENS
Eating (or drinking) more fruits and veggies is a great way to support and strengthen your immune system, especially as most people fall short of the recommended five servings of fruit and vegetables per day. Adding veggies to a morning smoothie helps check the box on a serving of vegetables and provides vitamin C and iron, both of which are essential for a healthy immune system.
HONEY AND LEMON
Yes, this old standby drink can help maintain strong immunity and prevent colds. Lemons are rich in vitamin C, which helps boost immunity. It also helps your body absorb iron from plant foods, such as green veggies. Honey also has antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant properties, which, among many things, may help support your immune system.
B12-FORTIFIED NONDAIRY MILKS
In addition to reducing fatigue, vitamin B12 helps the immune system. The main sources of vitamin B12 are animal products, so if you are vegan or vegetarian it can be difficult to get enough. That makes vitamin B12-fortified soy, almond, or cashew milks an excellent choice to add to your smoothie, hot drink, or cooking. Just one glass can provide half your daily vitamin B12 needs.
Cutting back on caffeine and drinking more water is good for your health in general as well as for your immune system. Infuse your water with berries or citrus fruits for a delicious drink with extra vitamin C to help keep your immune system in top shape.
Whether as a tea or infused in water, ginger is an ideal go-to when the weather cools. Ginger is another food that has been used as a traditional medicine for centuries, and modern science supports its anti-inflammatory and antioxidative benefits.
MORE IMMUNITY-BOOSTING STAPLES
HEALTHY GUT FOODS
It all starts in your tummy—a healthy immune system needs to be supported by good gut bacteria, so be sure to fill up on prebiotics (whole grains, legumes, and onions) and probiotics (fermented foods like yogurt and kefir).
GO FOR HEALTHY FATS
We all love another reason to eat avocado on toast! Healthy fats can help regulate your immune system’s response to infection, so make sure your shopping basket contains nuts, avocados, and olive oil.
POWERFUL PLANT PROTECTION
Phytonutrients are chemicals released from plants to help them stay healthy. We can reap the same benefits by eating plenty of plant foods. Phytonutrient-rich foods include colorful fruits and veggies, legumes, nuts, low-or-no-caffeine teas, whole grains, and many herbs.
Article courtesy of Sanitarium Health Food Company. Visit sanitarium.com.au and subscribe to Wholicious Living for more great health and nutrition info each month.