Health + Fitness

8 Foods to Boost Your Immune System This Winter

Is it just us, or does it seem like everyone is sick at the moment? Friends, family, workmates, strangers… we can hardly walk 10 metres without hearing a cough. It feels almost inescapable – but rest assured, there are a number of measures you can take to boost your immune system this winter.

Sure, the flu shot will help, but if you’re just barely avoiding the sniffles, it’s time to shift the focus to your diet. Yep, your brekkie, lunch and dinner could hold the key to warding off colds! All you have to do is start adding these eight immunity-boosting foods to your plate.

1. Citrus

We couldn’t possibly begin with anything other than vitamin C-rich citrus, could we? Oranges, mandarins, lemons, limes… there’s a reason they’re the main ingredients in all those immune-boosting juices at the smoothie shop. While vitamin C may not stop you getting sick entirely, studies show it shortens cold duration and aids in faster recovery.

foods to boost your immune system: citrus

2. Garlic

Your partner won’t be thrilled having to deal with your stinky breath all night, but your immune system will thank you. Not only is it utterly delish, but garlic has powerful antibacterial, antiviral and antioxidant properties. It also stimulates the production of white blood cells, which are essential for fighting infection.

3. Poultry

Yep, there’s scientific proof that mum’s classic cold remedy of chicken soup really can boost your immune system. Why? Because poultry is high in zinc, which increases white blood cell and T-cell production. It’s also packed with vitamin B6, which is vital for producing healthy, new red blood cells.

4. Honey

Aside from being ridiculously delicious and perfect for soothing those sore throats, honey is also an immunity powerhouse. Its antimicrobial properties help ward away viruses and bacteria, and buckwheat and Manuka honey, in particular, are rich in cell-protecting antioxidants.

Boost your immune system with honey

5. Ginger

As a natural anti-inflammatory and antibacterial, ginger can help return you to health faster by reducing symptoms like sore throats and nausea. It’s also a potent antioxidant and is great for stimulating digestion – perfect for relieving bloating and cramping.

6. Yoghurt

A healthy gut can stave off a number of nasties (including cold and flu), so keep it happy with probiotics. Naturally found in yoghurt – particularly Greek yoghurt – live cultures (a.k.a. good bacteria) are not only fantastic for the digestive system but also fight disease, providing your body with a much-needed immunity boost.

7. Turmeric

Curcumin, the anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and antibacterial active ingredient in turmeric, offers a whole host of health benefits. Studies have shown a link between curcumin consumption and improved digestive health, eczema, asthma and arthritis management and even the prevention of cancer cell growth

Foods that boost your immune system: Turmeric

8. Green Tea

Tea lovers, rejoice – that arvo cuppa could be keeping you sniffle-free! Green tea (particularly matcha) boasts high levels of the powerful antioxident epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) and is a great source of L-theanine, an amino acid which aids in the production of germ-fighting T-cells.

If that’s not an excuse to go to that cafe down the road and enjoy a green tea or turmeric latte, we don’t know what is! Head over to Scoopon now for a great deal at your local cafe.

Read more: 7 Best Comfort Food Joints in Sydney

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