It’s the rainy season in Thailand now, and although it is still hot, you may find yourself getting a bit sluggish and tired. Of course, you will feel this even more if you live in a colder climate. Why do our bodies become lazy when it’s cold and wet outside, and what should people eat in order NOT to get the horrible Winter colds and flu?
Think about it. More time is spent indoors, the central heating goes on, and we generally become less active. Without the sunshine it is easy to forget to drink that 1.5 litres of water, and instead of salads for lunch, comfort starchy food becomes a much more tempting option! The combination of all of this puts stress on your body, and more than ever you need to give it some much needed looking after.
Our main piece of advice is to boost your diet with nutrient rich, immune-boosting foods to get your immune system in top condition and ready to fight all the potential viruses it will have to encounter during the cold and rainy season.
Here are EIGHT of the top immune-boosting foods and supplements to keep you in tip top condition this Winter:
* Almonds ( and other nuts) – a small handful provides you 50% of your daily vitamin E. It is a powerful antioxidant that helps your body to fight infection.
* Green leafy vegetables (broccoli, kale, spinach) – these are nutrient powerhouses, packed full of disease-fighting vitamin C and zinc. Ideally eat raw or lightly steam, to preserve their full nutrient value.
* Garlic- research shows it’s a powerful antiviral and antibacterial. Peel, chop and leave for around 15 minutes before cooking to activate full immune-boosting enzymes.
* Ginger- SO many therapeutic properties including being an antioxidant and an anti- inflammatory. Steep an inch long piece of ginger in hot water with a slice of lemon to start the day (you can use honey to sweeten if you need to).
* Oily fish – do you know about SMASH? Sardines, Mackerel, Anchovies, Salmon and Herring are extremely good for you, they are particularly high in long-chain omega-3 fatty acids and a good source of vitamin D, which all will help to keep your immune system and heart healthy
* Probiotic- a good quality probiotic supplement daily is an absolute must to help keep your levels of “good” disease-fighting bacteria high. Alongside this increase your intake of prebiotic foods (these are foods that the good bacteria feeds off such as sauerkraut, tempeh, kefir and kombucha)
* Lemons and Limes – full of vitamin C and excellent to boost our immunity. Squeeze the lemon in your water in the morning, and add lime juice to your smoothies, salads and curries.
* Vitamin D- the sunshine vitamin and the ultimate immune-booster! Now that sunshine is going to become a rarer occurrence, take this as a supplement (look for it in the D3 form).
Oh, and don’t forget to drink your 1,5-2l of still water!
Winter is also a great time to give your body a deep spring clean before the sun starts shining again!