We are now well into the season of colds and flus, I do like autumn and winter as its so nice to drink hot chocolate and get cosy in front of a good film and the fire. What comes with that though is the cold, the rain and the germs.
Being vegan I am constantly concerned that I am getting the right vitamins and minerals and eating the food I need to stay healthy (as well as the hot chocolate). So when winter comes around I feel it is even more important to allow me to fight off colds and flus and this year I have had my share of the cold germs. Here are the foods I have been eating and the drinks I have to try fight off the germs.
Vegetables generally are just going to fill you with great vitamins and minerals to help you stay health and fight off colds and flu.
Mushrooms particularly are really good at improving the immune system which helps the body to fight off illness, cold and flus. Mushrooms are really good for veggies and vegans as they add that chunky texture to stews, chilli’s and curry and are so versatile.
I love them on baked aubergine with vegan butter, black pepper and cayenne pepper.
Bell peppers particularly the red pepper are a great source of vitamin C. Vitamin C is fantastic for fighting colds and flus and keeping your protected from winter germs. I think we tend to turn to oranges as a classic source of vitamin C which is great but its nice to be able to add food into your evening meal or work lunch that are also full of vitamin C.
Sweet potato is another source of vitamin C and such a good food for vegans as it is so versatile. I love sweet potato fries or as a jacket potato but my favourite I think is sweet potato mash. Sweet potato also contains beta-carotene which is also a nutrient to help your immune system.
Carrots are fantastic to increase your immune system, by boosting the immune system they help the white blood cells in your body to fight off the cold or flu.
Finally leafy greens, I feel that whatever post I write I am always adding in leafy greens which shows how amazing they are for us. I like a dressing on mine or to have them in a dish otherwise they can be too plain and uninspiring (sorry greens).
Raspberries, blueberries and strawberries again loaded with vitamins C and they are my favourite type of fruit. You can add these as a snack for work or add them to your morning cereals. They are pricy compared to things like apples but are often on offer or in frozen packs.
Bananas are also really good at improving the white blood cells and improving your immune system so again will really help you in preventing the colds and flus coming. I’ve also had them in sandwiches with peanut butter if you want to mix it up a bit!
Herbs and spices
Garlic is full of anti-bacterial properties and anti-viral properties so protect you against germs. I love garlic so much, it goes in everything cook and I particularly like making mayonnaise or sauces with it however you may not want to come too close to me after!
Cayenne pepper is good if you are already suffering from a cold as what it does is relieve the congestion in your nose and throat, it is only temporary but then you have a cold anything that helps you feel a bit better naturally is great. I love this on my mushrooms but in any curry, chilli or stew is also amazing.
Ginger works in a similar way to cayenne pepper because it helps to keep your chest and lungs clear of mucus so again anything that helps. I like it is Thai curry’s but also in warm drinks and tea.
Tea is so soothing, not everyone is a fan but for me if I am feeling like I gave a cold or just a little under the weather I feel instantly better with a warm drink. Tea can add much more than just the warm soothing feeling though particularly green tea.
Green team contains antioxidants, these reduce the rate at which the cold and flu take over the cells in your body that are currently health which helps you fight the cold and reduce the duration that you feel ill.
So as you head into winter and you are surrounded by sneezes and coughing try adding these foods, spices and drinks into your diet to prevent the cold and reduce your symptoms. I personally am loving these pink Pukka teas called love, they are quite earthy so they are not for everyone and I tend to have them in the evening not at breakfast for example.
Do you have any hints or tips to fight off the winter bugs, I would love to hear.
Thanks for reading