With Christmas only a week ago it might be time to finally admit that a lot of us might not see the sun for a while.
That does not mean your body has to suffer. We present you the top 10 winter superfoods to keep some sunshine on the inside when it is lacking outside.
This root vegetable contains high amounts of beta carotene which the body converts into vitamin A. Vitamin A is a key nutrient in immune function, helping to protect against infection and reduce the risk and duration of respiratory illness by keeping our lungs healthy.
2. Wheat germ
Wheat germ is the small yet nutritionally dense component of the wheat kernel. It’s rich in B vitamins, iron, zinc and vitamin E, an important antioxidant that supports the body’s immune response. Fresh wheat germ has a nutty flavour and can be used in baking breads, muffins, casseroles or sprinkled on salads or cereals.
Garlic has been used for thousands of years in the treatment of illness and disease. It is believed consuming between 1 to 2 cloves of garlic daily offers huge benefits to fight off a cold.
4. Natural yogurt
Natural plain yogurt contains probiotics, the friendly bacteria that are essential for good gut health. Probiotics boost immunity by protecting against viruses that enter via the digestive tract.
This liquorice tasting winter vegetable offers more than just a unique tang. Fennel is low in calories yet high in the phytonutrient anethole, which may help boost the immune response.
Fennel, like celery is a member of the parsley plant family however compared to its cousins, it contains much higher levels of vitamin C.
A cross between a tangerine and a pomelo, the tangelo is one of winter’s best citrus fruits. Similar to oranges, tangelos contain high levels of vitamin C.
Just one tangelo per day provides 100 per cent of the recommended dietary intake of vitamin C.
Research shows 40 per cent of people will be deficient in vitamin D at the end of winter.
Also known as the sunshine vitamin, vitamin D has important functions within the body including immune system regulation. Salmon is one of the few dietary sources of vitamin D.
Beetroot is packed with beneficial phytochemicals and antioxidants which protect the immune system by fighting off destructive free radicals, molecules which harm healthy cells and their DNA.
Eggs provide an excellent source of protein, B vitamins, vitamins A, D and zinc. Protein is essential in supporting a healthy immune system.
The body used protein as fuel to make antibodies that attack foreign invaders and prevent against infection.
10. Dark chocolate
Cacao-based dark chocolate is one of the best natural sources of antioxidants, iron, magnesium and zinc.
Zinc, an important trace mineral, is important for immune function.