The temperature is dropping and the days are getting shorter, and this can place extra stress on our bodies and immune system. We are also more prone to picking up colds and viruses as we spend more time indoors in heated environments. There are fortunately some steps that you can take to safeguard your health this winter.
One of the best and easiest ways to bolster your immune system and general state of health is to incorporate some superfoods into your diet. These are foods that are particularly rich in vitamins and minerals and may have antioxidant properties. Here are some of the best superfoods and tips on how to incorporate them into your diet.
- Citrus fruits
Citrus fruits such as oranges and grapefruits have a high vitamin C content. This can help to protect cells and boost the immune system, which is why some people up their vitamin C content in winter to ward off colds and flu. It also promotes healthy skin, bones, and cartilage and can aid with wound healing. They can be eaten whole or taken as juice.
Berries such as blueberries, strawberries, and raspberries are not only delicious but also a great source of vitamin C and antioxidants. This can help to protect your cells from damage caused by free radicals, which are unstable molecules that can cause oxidative stress, increasing the risk of developing serious health problems.
Antioxidants can also lower inflammation that can be triggered by stress, poor diet, or lack of exercise. If left unmanaged, this can lead to chronic conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, and obesity. Most berries are sweet enough to be eaten with plain yoghurt for a healthy dessert.
Ginger has been used since ancient times as a health remedy. It can help to reduce nausea and pain, and it is also known to have anti-inflammatory properties. It has a refreshing zingy taste and can be used to enhance the flavour of a huge variety of sweet and savoury foods.
- Leafy green vegetables
Leafy greens such as spinach and kale have an exceptionally high mineral and vitamin content and are also a good source of fibre. This serves to support the immune system and overall good health. They can be incorporated into winter dishes such as soups and stews, or blended into smoothies.
- Easy ways to incorporate superfoods into your diet
No matter how good our intentions are, sometimes incorporating fresh ingredients into our everyday diet can be just too time consuming and complicated. This doesn’t mean that we have to compromise on optimum health and nutritional intake however.
There are many types of extracts available in powdered form from superfood suppliers in the UK for example. They still retain all the potency of the whole food, and are easy and convenient to use. The powder can be sprinkled on to soups, stews, or salads, or blended into a hot drink or a smoothie.