Super Foods for Winter Wellness
We all want the best chance of fighting off those nasty winter bugs and surprisingly it might well be easier than you thought! Read on to find out how eating Super foods can help keep you well this winter.
What are Superfoods?
Superfoods are foods that provide you with benefits beyond that of normal nutrition. That is, they provide more than just energy, and vitamins and minerals for good health – they contain nutrients with extra health benefits or special nutrients such as antioxidants (which protect your body against damage from oxidative stress and disease).
These foods can help you fight off winter colds and flu’s as well as keeping you looking and feeling your best at a time of year when its common to feel run down or unwell.
Where are these Superfoods?
The good news is these Superfoods are super easy to find – they’re not only hiding away in health shops or specialty stores, but most of them you can get from your local supermarket.
When buying Superfoods it’s important to remember fresh is best. This is because when foods have been sitting around for too long the nutrients in them start to degrade and they may not provide you with all the goodness you were expecting. So try to shop for locally grown, fresh produce.
So, what are some of these Superfoods?
Let’s have a look at some of the more common Superfoods and what they can do for you:
Leeks – leeks are an excellent source of vitamins C and E (which both work as antioxidants). They also contain several phytochemicals including saponins and flavonoids which both support the immune system.
Garlic – garlic contains a number of special nutrients including thiosulfinates and sulfoxides. The most well-known of these are allicin and alliin. These nutrients contribute to the antibacterial and antiviral properties of garlic. They also help to decrease inflammation and oxidative stress.
Spinach – spinach is full of potassium, vitamins A, C, and E as well as other antioxidants such as beta-carotene. Add it to salads, mince dishes or even smoothies (see recipe below).
Blueberries – blueberries are believed to have one of the highest antioxidant properties of all fruit and vegetables. Anthocyanins (the nutrient that give blueberries their blue/purple colour) is just one of many phytonutrients that make blueberries such a powerful superfood.
Ginger – ginger has been found to have antioxidant properties and also has anti-inflammatory effects. It is delicious grated into stir-frys or in crockpot dishes.
Citrus – citrus fruits such as mandarins and lemons are packed full of vitamin C. Vitamin C works as an antioxidant to help protect our bodies from damage. It’s a water soluble vitamin though so any excess will just be excreted from the body – we are therefore much better off to consume small amounts regularly, rather than large doses.
Broccoli – broccoli is rich in vitamin A and phyto-chemicals. It is also high in vitamin C. Studies show the phyto-chemicals in broccoli may also help fight against different types of cancer including prostate, breast and colon cancer.
So now that you know what some of these Superfoods are, see if you can start including them in your meals to give yourself the best chance of keeping well this winter. To get you started there’s a recipe for a delicious smoothie below – try it for breakfast so you can start your day off feeling fantastic!
Recipe – Superfood smoothie:
Makes 2 serves
½ cup blueberries (frozen is fine)
1cm x 1cm piece fresh ginger (peeled and grated)
Juice of one lemon
½ cup coconut milk
½ cup water
Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Then Enjoy!