Now that autumn is here and the weather is starting to get cooler, it’s time to take control of your health and fight off colds and flu before they start.
Prevention is better than a cure, and a strong immune system will help you fight off pesky infections fast. Here are some top immunity-boosting foods to fill your meals with to help you stay healthy and strong this autumn.
Citrus fruits Oranges, lemons, mandarins and grapefruit are excellent sources of vitamin C, which helps you to fight off infection by enhancing immune system function.
Broccoli This tasty green is full of nutrients that stimulate the natural antioxidant systems in your body.
Pumpkin and sweet potato Not only are they low GI, pumpkin and sweet potato are good sources of the antioxidant beta carotene, which helps reduce damage to the body cells and keep you strong and healthy.
Soup Choose soups that are packed full of vegetables to get a good dose of vitamins and antioxidants. The hot liquid also helps to break up congestion and liquefy mucus, alleviating symptoms of colds and flu.
For extra protection, Autumn is a great time to get a flu shot. The vaccine takes several weeks to become effective, so visit your GP now and ask about getting yourself armoured up in time for flu season.
Tea There’s a reason tea has been used in traditional Chinese medicine for thousands of years – it’s full of antioxidants called flavonoids, which help to strengthen your immune system and protect you against a number of ailments.
Garlic The strong smell comes from allicin, which has potent antibacterial and antiviral properties. Adding some garlic to your meals regularly can help strengthen your immunity. In its raw form it has been shown to be beneficial in preventing a cold from taking hold.
Ginger Like garlic, ginger has been shown to improve the immune system. It also has a warming effect on circulation, which can help to reduce fever.
Mushrooms Packed full of compounds called beta glucans, which are known for their antioxidant and antimicrobial properties, mushrooms boost the production of NK-cells and T-cells which help fight infections.
Yogurt The live cultures in yogurt are rich in good bacteria, which fight the bacteria that cause illness, and they also raise your white blood cell count.