WINTER IS SUCH A GREAT SEASON FOR MANY REASONS BUT IT IS ALSO THE TIME MOST OF US ARE LIKELY TO BE STRUCK WITH ILLNESS, SO LET’S TALK IMMUNE DEFENCE
The mornings are now well and truly on the chilly side and the nights are cold, winter is here and so is “Flu Season”. The common cold and flu definitely peaks in winter so let’s talk about how you can kick butt and strengthen the immune system before the flu targets you.
Building a strong immune system is key to living a healthy life and there are several elements involved that include:
- A good night’s rest – everyone loves a good sleep and to keep your immune in tact it is said that you need 6-8 hours of sleep per night – any reason is a good reason to sleep a little longer!
- Exercise – regular exercise helps circulate white blood cells and flush bacteria
- Vitamin D – In Winter we tend to stay cozied up in doors but we need to ensure that we are still getting some rays. UV levels are lower in the winter months so people are encouraged to be outdoors in the sunshine.
- Good hygiene – keep germs at bay. We can’t avoid germs but we can wash our hands regularly.
- Food Consumption – one of the most influential elements in building a strong immune system is the food we ingest. Food is fuel and fuelling our bodies with healthy foods is the biggest foundation you can lay for a healthy life.
“What good is the warmth of summer, without the cold of winter to give it sweetness” – John Steinback
FOUR VEGETABLES WE GROW THAT CAN BOOST YOUR IMMUNE SYSTEM:
As if you needed another reason to eat Sweet Potato but YES the nutrients packed in sweet potatoes do wonders for our immune systems. Sweet potatoes are rich in beta-carotene; our bodies convert this powerful antioxidant into Vitamin A – a potent immune boosting nutrient that protects our bodies from free-radical damage.
Vitamin A is also beneficial for good vision, healthy bone growth, cell growth and healthy skin.
Our Favourite Sweet Potato Recipes:
Most of us would have heard of the age-old remedy of eating a raw clove of garlic to fight the flu. This is no wives tale when raw garlic is crushed or chopped it produces the compound Allacin. Allacin encourages white blood cells to reproduce which boosts your body’s defence system.
We know raw garlic by the clove is not exactly inviting but why not try a clove or two crushed and added to a homemade honey-mustard salad dressing.
Ginger is known for it’s nausea relief and anti-inflammatory properties but did you know it boosts your immune system as well? Gingerols and shaogals found in ginger help prevent premature destruction of cells, and increase the creation of immune cells. The sesquiterpenes found in ginger kills rhinoviruses, which is one of the causes of colds.
Your mother always told you to eat your greens, and for good reason! Broccoli is jammed packed full of vitamin A, C, E and B6, which are beneficial to your immune system. One key player in Broccoli’s super powers is sulforaphane, recent studies shows that it helps remove free radicals by activating certain antioxidants.
To get the most out of your broccoli eat it raw or steamed – too much heat destroys many of the antioxidants and we don’t want that.
Did you know? Broccoli originated in Italy off the Mediterranean. A constant vegetable in meals of this region since the time of the ancient Romans in the 6th Century BC.
SOUP FOR THE SNIFFLES:
“In seed time learn, in harvest teach, in winter enjoy” – William Blake
Share your recipes with us on Instagram simply tag @hydroproduce and/or @sweetpotatoesau
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