Superfoods with Superpowers
Coughs and colds are all around us at the moment, and as the seasons change and we start turning up the thermostat, our immune defences are challenged. Incorporating superfoods into the diet can be a game-changer. Superfoods are nutrient-packed foods with superpowers that can provide the extra boost your immune system needs.
Let's explore some of the top superfoods and their superpowers:
Food: Citrus Fruit
Superpower: Vitamin C
Citrus fruits like oranges, grapefruits and lemons are renowned for their high vitamin C content. Vitamin C is a potent antioxidant that helps protect cells from damage, supports the production of white blood cells, and enhances immune function. Aim to include at least one portion of citrus fruit daily.
Berries, including blueberries, raspberries, cranberries and blackberries are packed with immune boosting antioxidants like quercetin and anthocyanins. Adding a portion of berries to your daily diet provides antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and anti-viral benefits, helping to neutralizing free radicals and support optimal immunity.
Broccoli is a cruciferous vegetable that deserves a special place in the diet. It's loaded with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, including a sulphur-rich compound called sulforaphane which has been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties. Broccoli's rich nutritional profile makes it an excellent choice for supporting overall health and immunity.
Garlic is not just a way to bring flavour to meals, it's also a powerhouse of immune-boosting properties. It contains a bioactive compound called allicin, known for its antibacterial and antiviral properties. Including garlic in your meals can boost white blood cell activity and strengthen your natural defences.
Food: Natural yogurt
Did you know that over 70% of the immune system is in the gut? This makes good gut health paramount at this time of year. Probiotics are a great way to nourish your gut health - these beneficial bacteria promote a healthy microbiome, contributing to improved digestion and immune function.
Dark leafy greens like spinach are rich in iron, a mineral essential for development of healthy immune cells. Iron plays a key role in supporting enzymes which protect immune cells from oxidative damage. It is also involved in the production of proteins called interferons which activate cells and prevent virus replication – therefore enhancing the body’s ability to fight infection.
Food: Nuts and Seeds
Superpower: Healthy Fats and Vitamin E
Nuts and seeds, such as almonds, sunflower seeds and chia seeds, are packed with essential fatty acids which help regulate inflammation and support immunity. They are also rich in Vitamin E - another potent antioxidant. Including a variety of nuts and seeds in your diet can provide a nutrient-rich boost to your wellbeing.
Including nutrient dense superfoods is an easy and tasty way to boost your body’s natural defences. With their diverse nutritional profiles, these foods are crammed with potent natural compounds to fight off whatever comes your way.
Choose superfoods as your allies for a healthy, happy winter.