With winter upon us and all the bugs that brings, not to mention a global pandemic lurking, it’s never been more important to take charge of our own health – and your immune system is so important in this.
According to the people at Spatone, statistics show that up to 80 per cent of people could be hit with three colds per year and, with the festive season fast approaching, it’s important to be prepared. And so the natural liquid iron supplement has teamed up with chef and food writer, Natasha Corrett, to offer some important advice on staying well:
- Embrace foods loaded with vitamin C: Add foods like sweet potatoes, tomatoes, red peppers and citrus fruits to your meals as they contain vitamin C, which plays an important role supporting the immune system, which has a knock-on effect for your energy levels.
- Eat more iron-rich foods: Red meats, lentils and green leafy vegetables are good sources of iron, a powerhouse mineral which supports a healthy immune system and contributes to a reduction in tiredness and fatigue.
- Reach for vitamin B12: Fish such as salmon and cod, as well as milk, eggs and cheese are great sources of vitamin B12, which contributes to the normal function of the immune system and it a great addition during the winter months.
- Slow down on the sugars: Often, the winter months can entice us to reach for sugar laden comfort foods and one too many glasses of mulled wine, which can be bad for our waistline and our energy levels. Try swapping sugary foods for root veggies and soups that are just as comforting, but nutritious to boot!
- Don’t let the healthy lifestyle habits slip: Stress and a lack of rest, exercise and sleep all tend to affect our energy and our strength, which can leave us more vulnerable to outside influences. To achieve vitality over the winter months, make sure you give yourself time to relax, exercise and try to get both good quality and quantity of sleep.
- Stay positive and balanced: Many who feel stressed or anxious at this time of year might experience a dip in energy as your body triggers ‘flight or fight’ mode and tries to bypass daily pressures. Healthy lifestyle and dietary habits, an optimistic attitude and caring for your emotional wellbeing will support the optimal function of not only the immune system but your entire body throughout the winter months.
And if you are looking for some healthy inspiration, why not try this recipe for hearty mixed bean soup:
You will need:
- 1tbsp olive oil
- 1tsp ground ginger
- 1tsp ground cinnamon
- 1tbsp bouillon
- 1 red onion, diced
- 3 cloves garlic
- 3 carrots, diced
- ½ courgette, diced
- 100g green beans,
- 100g chestnut mushrooms, diced
- 2 sticks of celery, sliced
- 600ml tinned tomatoes
- 1 cup water
- 1 tin mixed beans (260g drained weight)
What to do:
- On a high heat put the olive oil into the pan with grated garlic, ginger and cinnamon and cook for a minute or so.
- Add the tinned tomatoes and stir the spices in well then add the water.
- Add the onion, carrots, mushrooms, celery into the pan with the bouillon powder and stir.
- Put the lid on and leave for about seven minutes, stirring occasionally to make sure nothing sticks to the bottom. Add the courgette, green beans and mixed beans. Put the lid back on and cook for a further five minutes.
- Once the veggies are cooked take off the heat season and serve with a lovely slice of bread.