Miserable weather, shorter days, chilly toes and tips of ears – winter can be miserable enough without a dose of the common cold. Unfortunately, the sad truth is that we’re all likely to pick it up at some point or another, so here’s a list of five self-care foods that can help you get back on your feet in no time. From sweet potato fries to guacamole dip, these unexpected helpers are a real kick start to your immune system.
Packed full of goodness the whole way through, green tea can be a great way to soothe that sore throat and clear those aching sinuses. Its leaves contain polyphenols, a kind of antioxidant, which provides the drink with its strong anti-inflammatory properties. Less inflammation = less stuffy nose. A single cuppa also comes with a good dose of vitamin C and caffeine, enough to wake you up and get you rolling in the mornings. Simply add hot water, the tea bag, and lemon or honey to taste.
Believe it or not, chocolate can work wonders. In moderation, this age-old comfort food can be a major boost for the run-down winter explorer. It’s high fat and sugar content keeps those energy levels high, and a single bite comes with all the added benefits of improved blood flow, improved mood and a subtle dose of theobromine. Theobromine is a great little that ingredient that can help to quieten those hard-to-shake coughs.
Avocado is an all but legendary food at this point. Positively stuffed with vitamins, healthy fats and fibre, a little slice of this powerful fruit can jump-start your immune system and get you back to your old self. Try on toast, in a salad, or as the star ingredient in a delicious guacamole. Fresh avocado is easy to work with and provides more nutrients than a pre-made guacamole, and it’s also a great substitute for butter.
Roasted, fried, boiled, baked or mashed, sweet potato is a potent veg. Vitamin C is the name of the game, and it comes alongside a supporting cast of iron, magnesium and potassium in strong doses. All these vitamins and minerals work together to support regular immune function and daily processes throughout the body. And they’re super flexible! Whatever kind of food your cold is craving, these little orange beauties can change to fit the role. Try cutting into slices, tossing in a seasoning of salt, pepper, garlic and paprika, then drizzling with vegetable oil. Shove those in the oven till crispy and brown for your own homemade fries.
Low in calories but high in goodness, blueberries come with a sweet kick to round off the list. Like green tea before them, blueberries are bursting with antioxidants, as well as high water content, fibre and vitamins. In fact, blueberries might have some of the highest antioxidant activity of all the fruits in the fridge, so they’re a great way to make sure you’re getting enough of the stuff. Blend with fruit of your choice for a health-kick smoothie.
So, How’s that Cold?
That’s it for the list today. Stay in, drink fluids and put those feet up. Find your tissues. Ready your feast of superfood. With all of the above and a good chunk of rest, you’ll be back in action before you know it.