Five foods to help boost your immune system this winter

As winter closes in, we all start to feel a bit gloomy, especially when mornings and evenings are so dark. When it feels like the sun might never shine again, we naturally lack the vitamin D we need to support our immune system. But don’t worry – the nutrients needed to keep us protected against those nasty winter colds can be found in lots of other sources.

We’ve put together a list of five foods that will help keep the colds at bay this winter:

Blueberries

You may not have realised, but blueberries contain antioxidant properties that help to give your immune system a boost. Whether you have them on your morning porridge, or whip up a batch of homemade blueberry muffins, there are plenty of ways to get blueberries into your diets. They taste delicious too – so what’s stopping you!

Broccoli

As an antioxidant and a source of vitamin C and other nutrients, it’s no wonder broccoli is classified as a superfood! It’s versatile and can be enjoyed with a wide range of foods and cuisines. Whether cooked Asian style in a stir fry, or served with a traditional English roast dinner, broccoli is the key to staying well this winter.

Citrus Fruits

It’s no surprise that most people turn straight to vitamin C after they’ve caught a cold… it helps to build up your immunity by increasing your body’s production of white blood cells, which are key to fighting infections. Citrus fruits are a fantastic source of Vitamin C and there are so many ways to increase your intake, be it having a glass of orange juice in the morning, popping some lemon or lime wedges in your glass of water, or chopping up some grapefruit for a hearty fruit salad.

Dark Chocolate

For those who aren’t huge fans of fruit – you’re in luck! Dark chocolate is rich in antioxidants and minerals, so may help to boost the immune system by protecting the body’s cells from free radicals. A few squares of your favourite dark chocolate in the evening won’t hurt… in fact, it might even help you if eaten in moderation!

Garlic

Eating garlic has been proven to provide a variety of health benefits, including reducing the risk of heart disease, improving cognitive health, and enhancing immune function. It contains compounds that helps to fight germs, so is often used as a home remedy for colds and flu. Garlic is a key ingredient to boost the flavour of so many dishes, so it’s an easy one to integrate into your diet, you can even buy it ready-chopped or pureed to save you a job.

So, next time you feel a cold coming on keep these foods in mind – you might even manage to get away with no sniffles and sneezes this winter!