Updated: Jan 10, 2021
With cold and flu season upon us, our immune systems have never been more important. COVID-19 aside, our bodies work so hard this time of year to fight off whatever bug is going around.
Luckily there are some things we can do to help keep our immune systems in tip top shape! Adequate exercise, a good night's sleep and drinking plenty of water are a few things to keep in mind for a healthy immune system. On top of these, a proper diet, including all the essential vitamins and minerals will help keep us strong and energized year-round. There are many foods that have been identified as “superfoods” – aka they work wonders for our body’s defence mechanisms! Take a look at this list and maybe you already have them in your cupboard or fridge at home. If not, be sure to add them to your next grocery list!
Citrus Fruits. It is no secret that citrus fruits such as oranges are jam packed with Vitamin C which can help us fight off infections! Try squeezing some lemon juice in your glass of water or reach for a clementine for your afternoon snack.
Ginger. Not only is it a great addition to many tasty treats, but ginger has anti-inflammatory properties that can be very beneficial when fighting off illness. Adding ginger to tea can also give you a soothing feeling for that tough sore throat when the cold or flu creeps around.
Spinach + other leafy greens. Spinach has it all! Jam packed with calcium, magnesium, potassium, folate, Vitamin A and much more, this leafy green will be sure to supply you with everything you need! Even if you’re not a fan of greens, you can sneak them into smoothies, scrambled eggs or toss a little bit in a salad to ensure you’re getting all the benefits!
Berries. Elderberries, blueberries, açaí berries, you name it! They’re all great for the immune system. Although each come with their own unique properties and benefits, most berries are rich in antioxidants which will help maintain a healthy body and can help protect against infection.
Yogurt. Looking for yogurt with “live and active cultures” on the label can be very beneficial for a healthy immune system. Not only is yogurt packed with probiotics, but many also contain vitamin D (take a look on the label to check for added vitamin D). Low vitamin D levels can leave you susceptible to the cold or flu, so make sure to get your daily dose!
This list of immune boosting foods is certainly short and sweet, but there are many other foods out there that we can benefit from! Focusing on eating the rainbow each day and trying to add a couple of these foods in, will be a great addition to a healthy lifestyle and hopefully aid in fighting off colds and flus.
It is important to note that none of these foods have shown to help prevent against the novel coronavirus. Focusing on an overall healthy lifestyle and maintaining our mental and physical health are essential during these uncertain times, however following the governments guidelines on social distancing and other safety precautions are the best way to keep yourself and loved ones safe from COVID-19!
Get creative in the kitchen this cold and flu season, and add these superfoods into your next meal or snack. And remember – always reach for the clouds!