Image credits: iStock
As the temperature drops and the days get darker we start to crave foods that aren’t that healthy for us, staying fit tends be forgotten about and hello- it’s peak flu season. Take aways and the microwaveable all seem to be the go to options for food and for when we’re sick, we tend to just grab the first packet off the shelf that will mask the symptoms. Then we always wonder why we gained those extra few kilos and had so many days off work coming out of winter! So, to avoid this very fact and to assist you with your next shopping day, we asked nutritionist and The Happy CookBook author Lola Berry to share what should always be on our grocery list so we can all stay healthy all season long!
Here’s what Lola had to say:
These guys are the perfect winter warmer as they stimulate blood flow so will help to keep you warm. There’s even an old folk remedy when you chop up chillies and pop them in your socks to stay warm in the winter. Now I tried this one and duty is still out, but including it in your diet will definitely help to keep you warm, so think hot curries and spicy soups over winter.
Tip: it’s a metabolic booster so it will help to speed up your metabolism which can be handy in the winter months.
Especially ginger tea, it’s another warming circulatory stimulant. Ginger is especially helpful with warming cold extremities. I always get cold hands and feet but ginger tea helps to prevent that.
So garlic is like mother nature’s antibiotic, as it’s a potent immune booster. This is because of a compound that is in garlic called allicin but you need to crush or chop your garlic up first to help release it. That’s the trick, and even better if you can get it in raw.
Tip: Worried about bad garlic breath? Try having a few bits of fresh parsley, it’s said to counteract garlic breath.
So we all know vitamin C is a brilliant immune booster but the special stuff is the bioflanoids, that helps the body to assimilate and absorb vitamin C. Now the bioflavonoids are found in the white bitter pith of citrus fruits so you want to make sure you’re getting the pith along with the flesh of all your citrus fruits to get the most health immune boosting benefits.
This is an oldie but a goodie! Honey is antibacterial (which is why it has been used topically on wounds), but it’s a great winter warmer. All you need is just a tea spoon in hot water along with a bit of ginger which makes for the perfect throat soother.
Combined in a hot drink cinnamon stimulates circulation, causes sweating which helps to prevent or resolve flus, colds and fevers. You can even inhale cinnamon oil for head colds and chest infections.