Winter is a harsh season, particularly for oneâ€™s health, and it requires that you pay a bit more attention to the fighter in you that doesnâ€™t relent â€“ your immune system.
Feelgood Health Immunity Plus
While immune-boosting supplements have their place, we suggest that before you head out to the pharmacy, pass by your local grocery store first.
â€śWhen you compare the absorption rate of vitamins and minerals from supplements to that of food, food is always your better bet,â€ť Mbali Mapholi, dietician, tells Womenâ€™s Health.
READ MORE:Â 3 Comforting Soups Thatâ€™ll Boost Your Immune System
â€śFood will always give you the highest absorption and should always be your first option for protecting yourself against illness and strengthening your immunity.â€ť
But not everything you put into your mouth has these benefits in abundance *shocking*. Thatâ€™s why weâ€™ve put together a list of some of the most powerful immune-boosting ingredients that you need to throw into your grocery trolley now! Mapholi takes us through what these are:
1/ Citrus fruits
â€śSomehow nature is able to give us what we need at the time that we need it, hence citrus fruits are in season and in abundance,â€ť Mapholi says. Citrus fruits contain vitamin C in high amounts and this particular vitamin helps white blood cells function better. These are the front-line soldiers for fighting off infections.
Citrus fruits include be grapefruits, oranges, lemon, clementine, tangerine and so on â€“ these will give you that immune boost you need!
Most people have a love-hate relationship with broccoli, but either way â€“ itâ€™s a winter must-eat! Â â€śBroccoli is super-packed with vitamins A, C and E and most importantly, itâ€™s high in fibre,â€ť Mapholi says.
Fibre is good for gut health and gut health is crucial for immune system strength. â€śWe have to make sure that the good bacteria in our gut is fed properly; this is why you need to have a good amount of fibre in your daily diet.â€ť
The next time someone tells you youâ€™re adding too much garlic to your food, just ignore them. Not everyone will understand the good decisions you make.
Garlic has massive anti-inflammatory properties and notable immune-boosting and healing properties.
4/ Red bell peppers
Similar to citrus fruits, red bell peppers are significantly high in vitamin C. Mapholi says: â€śRed bell peppers are also a source for beta carotene, which is an antioxidant.Â Winter is not kind to our immunity, skin and internal organs, which is why antioxidants are important â€“they help halt or slow the damage to our body’s cells.”
If you recently made a ginger and hot-water concoction to ease inflammation and flu symptoms, please let us know where you want us to drop your medical degree off, because you were on to something!
â€śIn winter weâ€™re more susceptible to cold and flu symptoms. Ginger has anti-inflammatory properties and healing qualities that are a great aid to fighting off these symptoms,â€ť Mapholi explains. Ginger is also more of a â€śletâ€™s fight the symptoms when theyâ€™re already presentâ€ť rather than a â€śletâ€™s prevent the symptomsâ€ť kind of food.
Spinach is one of the most underrated superfoods. Itâ€™s jam-packed with a variety of vitamins and minerals. Itâ€™s significantly high in vitamin A, which is important for the maintenance of your immune system, and itâ€™s also a great source of fibre.
Womenâ€™s Health participates in various affiliate marketing programmes, which means we may get commissions on editorially chosen products purchased through our links to retailer sites.