Feed your immune system to keep you healthy all winter.The winter months can take a toll on our health. As temperatures drop, our circulatory and respiratory systems work harder to keep us warm, making it crucial to provide our bodies with the right nourishment. Additionally, the increase in winter viruses, combined with more people socialising indoors, creates the perfect environment for illnesses to thrive.
Eating well at this time of the year is more than just shedding post-Christmas indulgence, but about arming your body with the best defences against winter bugs.
Whilst there is no single food that you can eat to cure illness, a diet rich in certain key vitamins and minerals will strengthen your immune system and help ward off the infections and viruses that are more prevalent during colder months.
Gut Friendly Foods
We have already talked about gut health in this Winter Reset series, and you can read why we think supporting gut health is vital for your health, here. A happy gut rich in beneficial bacteria has many health benefits, from improving digestive issues to better mental health.
Since a significant portion of our immune system resides in the gut, it makes sense that maintaining a healthy balance of gut flora is vital for overall immunity with research showing that probiotics may be the best line of defence against the common cold. Choose fermented foods and those rich in probiotics and prebiotics, for an in-depth look at gut friendly foods, head to our gut health article.
Healthy ProteinMeat is an excellent source of protein and provides essential nutrients to support immunity.
Chicken and turkey contains Vitamin B6 which helps keep cells healthy, selenium, with its antioxidant properties and zinc which is vital to fight off infection.
Red meats, like beef, lamb and pork are a great source of zinc and iron, vitamin B12 for cell and nerve health.
Bone broth made with organic meat bones delivers many health benefits, like gut restoring nutrients, joint supporting collagen and by reducing inflammation in the body.
Our new Reset and Restore meat box brings together a collection of lean, organic meats and nourishing bone broths to support winter health, and you can make your own bone broth with our organic beef bone broth recipe.
Leafy GreensYour grandmother was right when she told you to eat your greens. Leafy green vegetables, such as spinach, kale, and Swiss chard, are nutritional powerhouses that play a vital role in supporting immune function.
Packed with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, these greens provide essential nutrients like vitamins A, C, E and K and folate, a B-vitamin that contributes to immune cell development. Rich in fibre, leafy greens also support a healthy gut microbiome that plays a role in immune response.
Try our Chicken, Leek and Kale Cassoulet recipe for a delicious and immune supporting meal for the whole family.
Plant Based ProteinAs well as being a great source of non-meat protein, nuts are rich in fibre and essential fatty acids that your body needs for optimum health. Nuts also contain vitamins E, C and zinc which all contribute to a strengthened immune system.
Sprinkle seeds on your morning granola to start the day with a wellness boost. Try sunflower seeds for their antioxidants, zinc-rich sesame seeds and pumpkin seeds for their powerful combination of potassium, magnesium and Vitamin K.
Try adding chopped nuts and seeds to your favourite bread, like our breakfast muesli bread recipe.
Omega-rich FishFish is one of the best sources of Omega 3 fatty acids which are crucial in ensuring cells function optimally and for reducing inflammation in the body. Choose oily fish like salmon and mackerel or shellfish, like crab for a natural source of these essential fatty acids.
Our wild and sustainably caught fish range is an easy way to incorporate more of this natural source of Omega-3 into your diet.
For a simple mid-week supper, try our baked salmon with thyme, honey and garlic.
A Shot of GoodnessGarlic and ginger both boast impressive health improving credentials. Garlic has antimicrobial properties for fighting infection and ginger is known for anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, so together they are quite the immune boosting double act.
Garlic and ginger are easy to incorporate into your diet, forming the basis of delicious recipes, like our chicken tikka masala or zingy Thai steak salad.
Or start the day with an immunity shot; juice a clove of garlic, a 2cm sized knob of ginger, a 1cm piece of turmeric with organic carrot or orange juice and for extra gut health benefits, include 10ml of organic apple cider vinegar.