Spas in Ireland

Winter Super Foods

By , October 28, 2010

Contrary to popular belief, cold and flu aren’t directly caused by exposure to cold weather; instead it’s the decreased immunity that results from a lower body temperature. In order to give your immune system a fighting chance during the winter months you need to eat properly. The old saying “feed a cold, starve a fever” couldn’t be farther from the truth. Regardless of cold and flu symptoms it’s important to eat and most importantly to drink plenty of fluids. There are some super foods that can help you along as well.

Garlic is a powerful natural anti-biotic which has been known to fight bacteria and can help symptoms of cold and flu and ease sore throats. It is also effective as a preventative measure for colds and flu. The powerful medicinal compound found in garlic is known as Allicin. This is produced when garlic is finely chopped or crushed but almost straight away will begin to break down. When added to food straight away it has a powerful medicinal effect although cooking and microwaving weakens and destroys the benefits completely.

Ginger root
Like garlic ginger is widely available in supermarkets and has tried and tested health benefits. Ginger is known to ease symptoms of gastrointestinal problems such as motion and travel sickness, and more recently it has been discovered that it also has anti-inflammatory properties.

If you are suffering from nausea or stomach cramps ginger tea can help alleviate symptoms. This is made by boiling three thin slices of ginger in a cup of water. Drinking the tea will ease stomach problems, or it can be added to bath water to ease body pains.

Cinnamon is one of the quintessential winter smells. It’s warm and inviting and a staple in many Christmas recipes. It’s also incredibly high in anti-oxidants and may help you to regulate your blood sugar levels. Sprinkling even half a teaspoon on a bowl of porridge in the morning can do you good.

Blueberries are rich in anti-oxidants. Although blueberry bushes grow year-round they are at their best in the summer. In winter you can substitute frozen blueberries. Although the freezing process can degrade some of the nutrients they’re still good for you. Adding a tablespoon to a bowl of cereal in the morning or mixing them into a smoothie is a good way to get them into your diet.  

As well as having high anti-oxidant levels apples are full of pectin, a soluble fibre which is proven to help lower cholesterol. So an apple a day may actually help to keep the doctor away.

Pomegranates/Pomegranate Juice
Pomegranates and pomegranate juice may help to reduce the risk of hardening of the arteries or atherosclerosis. The most natural way to get pomegranates into your diet is to buy the fruits fresh and eat them, however many types of pomegranate juice are just as good.


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