Include these superfoods in your diet this season so you can stay happy, healthy and sniffle-free
As we near the winter months (yes, we’re that close), we need to be prepared for the change in temperature, unpredictable weather conditions, and—the belly of the beast—cold and flu season. As the temperature drops, our immune system’s fighting mechanisms kick into gear to fend off the impending sniffles, sneezes and sick days.
Try these five immune boosting foods with nutrients that can help prevent cold and flu symptoms from rearing their ugly head...
Including Vitamin C in your diet is crucial in helping to fight off the common cold, and enjoying kiwifruit is a great way to get your daily dose. In fact, Vitamin C has been shown to decrease cold symptoms after you get sick, shortening the duration of the cold and flu. It does this by helping to increase the production of antibodies and white blood cells that help to fight against infection. A serving of Zespri SunGold Kiwifruit (two kiwifruits) contains three times the amount of Vitamin C in an orange. Incorporate this yellow, tropically-sweet kiwifruit into your breakfast or enjoy it throughout the day—just cut, scoop and eat with a spoon.
Whether you sauté them, eat them raw with dip or add to a stir-fry, studies have shown that mushrooms can have therapeutic properties. The beta-glucan found in the fruiting bodies of mushrooms can help support your immune system function and work to prevent infections. Not just the exotic mushrooms have this ability—everyday common varieties also contain beta-glucan. Mushrooms are packed with vitamins, polyphenols, sterols and zinc, which all support a healthy immune system.
3. Green tea
Nothing beats the cold (and flu) like a hot beverage in your favourite mug. Switch up your morning coffee routine and opt for green tea this season. Green tea catechins are powerful antioxidants helping reduce the formation of free radicals in the body and improving immune response. Adding a cup of this calorie-free warming beverage to your day can help boost your immune system during the cold months ahead.
Living on the West Coast, we have an abundance of fresh fish and seafood, so why not take advantage of their amazing health benefits? Chock full of protein, vitamins, minerals and unsaturated fats, seafood is one of the major sources of selenium, which is an essential micronutrient that helps support our white blood cell functions and keeps our immune systems strong. Local seafood that is in season in the winter months includes mussels, clams, Pacific cod, crab and shrimp. Count yourself lucky that you live in Vancouver!
Probiotics are healthy bacteria in your gut. The probiotics found in yogurt not only promote healthy digestion, but certain strains have also been found to shorten sick days and improve gut mucosal immune system, helping to keep the bad bugs at bay. Include a yogurt in your breakfast, lunch, or snack and you’re well on your way to maintaining good health this fall.
CREATED BY BCLIVING IN PARTNERSHIP WITH GLORIA TSANG, REGISTERED DIETITIAN AND ZESPRI KIWIFRUIT SPOKESPERSON.