One of the first things Kerry did when we arrived in NZ was catch a cold. ‘Eek’ I thought, ‘give it a few days and I’ll have one too’
Luckily for me, I avoided the tretures of a cold and I think (please don’t quote me on this!) I can attribute this to my diet. I consume a lot (A LOT!) of foods rich in vitamin C, I’m very conscious of antioxidants and I think my immune system has thanked me for this.
As winter is on its way here in the Southern Hempishere, I thought I would compile a short guide on how to prevent colds, coughs and sneezes this year by making very small changes to your diet and ensuring you get your fill of Vit C and all those free radical fighting antioxidants! Afterall, prevention is waaay better than cure… #ihatelemsip
I assume most people, when thinking about Vit C, think citrus. And that’s a great place to start! But infact most fruits, leafy green veggies and herbs and spices contain enough of this cold fighting, immune boosting vitamin to keep your body happy. Try adding some of the below to your diet to really ramp up your levels this winter.
Papaya, capsicum, broccoli, Brussel sprouts, strawberries, pineapple, kiwi, cauliflower, kale, cabbage, thyme, parsley and basil.
Here are a few easy peasy tips on how to get more antioxidants in to your diet (and your body!) No effort required!
Drink Tea. Any tea. Black, white, green, fruit. The antioxidant levels in each do vary, but they all contain a good amount. Don’t add milk or sugar and leave the tea bag to brew for over 15 minutes, this causes the antioxidants to double!
Drink Coffee. Although tea has more, coffee is still a great source of antioxidants. Again, keep it black, keep it organic and keep it to no more than two cups per day.
Choose really ripe bananas. Pretty, yellow bananas might be easy on the eye, but brown bananas are easy on the body. I know that’s not a thing, but just go with it. Really ripe bananas are easier to digest and taste soo much better as the starch turns to sugar. They are higher in antioxidants too, so this winter add a banana to your usual routine.
Tumeric is a great spice, it has so many heath benefits and is commonly used in my favourite cuisine: Indian. I find the best way to incorporate more tumeric into my diet is to make yellow rice. It’s simple, just add 2 tablespoons of powered tumeric to the boiling water and there you have it, yellow, coldfighting, rice!
And speaking of rice… Brown Rice is incredibly high in Manganese which is critical to the production of antioxidant enzymes in the body. Brown rice is also a great source of fibre, can help lower cholesterol and let’s face it, it tastes so much nicer than its white, over processed counterpart.
Carbs… Love them or hate them, they are as wintery as it comes! Who doesn’t love a good potato on a cold day? This winter, rev up those antioxidants by choosing sweet potatoes. They are just as versitile and taste great. For even more antioxidants choose a kumara, a purple sweet potato, as these have shown to aid the production of 2 antioxidant producing enzymes in the body and contain up to 4x the antioxidant levels of their orange friends. And don’t forget to eat the skins!!
So, this leads me perfectly on to purple fruit and veg. The pigment in purple foods contains flavonoids, this is important for building a healthy immune system, which in turn will help prevent coughs and colds (and cancer!!!) So this winter load up on plums, grapes, blackberries, figs, blueberries, red cabbage, red onions and eggplants! And as previously mentioned, don’t forget to eat the skins!
I really hope you’ve found this guide to be helpful and insightful. Using food as medicine is so important to me and I wish everyone would look at prevention over cure a little harder and deeper. For more info check out The Worlds Healthiest Foods website. It’s a vital piece of weaponry in my health arsenal and I would highly recommend it to everyone who has an interest in healthy foods and getting the most out of them. Click here: WHF website 🙂
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