It’s getting colder, people are beginning to sniffle and cough on your morning train. You eye your red-nosed coworkers suspiciously at work. Yep, it’s that time of year again.
No one likes getting sick, so here are 5 immune boosting foods to keep you feeling your best this cold and flu season.
Chicken broth, traditionally in the form of chicken soup, has been a go-to cold-buster since forever. Chicken bone broth can aid in prevention of cold and flu as well as help fight them off if you’re unlucky enough to catch something.
Bone broths are nutrient-dense and easy to digest, which is great if you’re feeling under the weather. They also contain important amino acids like glycine and glutamine, both of which have strong anti-inflammatory properties and will give your immune system a fighting chance. On top of this, bone broths are great for gut health! The gelatin they contain helps to restore your gut lining and promotes the growth of probiotics. A large portion of immune function actually starts in the gut, so good gut health is crucial to a strong immune system.
At Cannings we stock a selection of free range beef and chicken bones that are perfect for concocting a nutritionally dense soup or bone broth. The best bone broths are cooked for between 10 – 24 hours, which is admittedly a long time! If you don’t have this kind of time up your sleeve don’t worry, Cannings has made it easy for you! We hand-make our own range of high quality beef and chicken bone broths in-house, which you can find in our freezer section. We also stock a range of Nes-Proteins free range dehydrated bone broth powders (both beef and chicken). Bone broth powder is an amazing, convenient option if you need your bone broth on the go!
100% Grass Fed Beef
Beef is a great source of zinc, which can help reduce the length of colds. Low zinc levels have been associated with a weaker immune response, so make sure you’re getting enough this Winter! On top of this, grass fed beef is an extremely rich source of protein, vitamins A and E and antioxidants. Let’s be honest though, we don’t really need the extra incentive to enjoy some gorgeous red meat for dinner!
Studies have shown that the humble garlic clove can reduce both your risk of catching cold and flu, and the length and severity of the illness. When crushed, garlic releases a compound called allicin, which has been shown to boost the virus-fighting response of some types of white blood cells in your body. Garlic’s beneficial enzymes can get denatured by heat, however by crushing it and letting it sit for at least 10 minutes before cooking, you can help to mitigate this and increase allicin levels. Another way to maximise the health benefits of garlic when cooking is to use lots of it – more than one clove per meal. The more the better!!! When choosing garlic, look for the Australian stuff which has larger bulbs and a purple tint (avoid imported garlics where possible as they are often bleached and can have an astringent flavour).
Sauerkraut is made from fermented cabbage. Fermentation is a natural preservation process that alters the chemistry of food and produces beneficial probiotics. These natural probiotics help to populate your gut with good microorganisms, which act as the first line of defense against various harmful bacteria that enter your body. Did we mention that sauerkraut is delicious? Its tangy, vinegar-y flavour makes it an ideal accompaniment to richer, fattier meats like pork or corned beef. If you’re after something with a bit more bite (to clear out those sinuses!) you can also try kimchi, which is a spicy, Korean fermented cabbage.
At Cannings we stock a beautiful local sauerkraut and two different kinds of kimchi! Come in and grab a jar of Bavarian (plain sauerkraut) or Kimchi Powerkraut, or Dr. Kim’s Magnificent Kimchi – talk about spoiled for choice!
Green Leafy Veggies
A good amount of green leafy vegetables should be a mainstay of your day-to-day diet, and they become extra important when you have a cold or flu. Green veggies are full of nutrients, and a 2011 study suggests they are also responsible for a chemical signal in the body that is important for a strong immune system. A good intake of green veggies ensures that immune cells in the gut and the skin, known as intra-epithelial lymphocytes (IELs), function properly. Add a generous side of fresh, dark green veggies like, broccoli, baby spinach or kale to your meals this flu season and you’re good to go!
Staying cold and flu free has never been so delicious. Happy eating!
Find cold busters right here in our online store!