Winter is the prime time for feeling under the weather and getting hit with respiratory problems such as colds and flu. Even though it could always be worse, it's still no fun coughing up a lung or plowing through twenty boxes of tissues.
The first step I always recommend for someone with a cold is good nutrition (obviously!). When our bodies use oxygen to perform normal bodily functions, free radicals are produced which can be very damaging to the body if left unchecked. Fortunately, a good diet contains antioxidants, nutrients that can prevent and repair such damages. Winter can be tough on our bodies as we are trying to stay as warm as possible and battle with all kinds of bugs that are going round, making it a little bit harder to fight off those free radicals. So we need to give our body some extra help. A diet packed with antioxidants is important for the winter months and thankfully nature is amazing and there's lots of seasonal produce that helps support your body during the colder months! So here are my top tips to help get you feeling back to your old self in no time.
These are packed with Vitamin A and carotenoids. Try steaming and sprinkling with lemon juice, olive oil, cinnamon and cumin!
A few slices of raw ginger root in boiling water may help soothe a cough or sore throat
As well as being anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial and a powerful antioxidant (anti-everything basically!), adding garlic to your diet has shown to reduce the severity of cold symptoms.
Vitamin E rich foods
A handful of almonds can provide almost half your daily recommendation of Vitamin E which is very important for our immune health during the winter months.
Keep a check on your Vitamin D levels as Vitamin D helps regulate the immune system so get your levels checked with your GP or via BetterYou.
A powerful antioxidant known to help strengthen the immune system against infections. Found in lots of food and cabbage is a brilliant seasonal option and can be added to stews and soups.
Zinc and Vitamin C
Zinc and Vitamin C are both important as both nutrients are essential components of our immune cell response. Zinc can be found in nuts and seeds, especially pumpkin seeds!
Give your body the rest it needs. Don’t just try to push through illness. Your body is working extra hard to fight something so rest and allow it to recover.
Not only does sugar suppress our immunity but it also feeds bacteria, viruses and fungus and promotes mucous production, so it will prolong an infection
Studies have shown taking elderberry syrup can shorten colds and flus and also relieve sinus infections. Triple threat!
If you're still feeling poorly for longer than usual and your cold just won't shift then always go and see your GP to get it checked out.