‘There’s something going around’ is a phrase that no one wants to hear; prompting a quick dash to Boots to stock up on Berocca and antibacterial hand gel. This got us thinking, why do most of us instantly associate battling a cold with chemicals or a weird tablet that fizzes and turns bright orange in water? Let’s go back to a time before these products were invented, when people relied on food to improve their health. A man called Hippocrates, the Ancient Greek Physician, once said, “let food be thy medicine, and medicine be thy food.”
With this being our inspiration, we’ve compiled a list of foods which are high in antioxidants and known for their anti-inflammatory and immune boosting properties. In other words, they’ll give you happy, positive and healthy vibes!
Avocados and pumpkin seeds: These two foods provide zinc and iron, which are meant to shorten the duration of a cold.
Oily fish: Fish is one of the best sources of omega-3 fatty acids and protein. As every one of our cells contain protein, it’s no wonder that it repairs and builds muscle to keep you strong.
Mushrooms: Easy to cook and easy to eat. They’re a great source of vitamin D (ergosterols in mushrooms convert to vitamin D when exposed to light), which gives the immune system a boost. In Winter, Brits are renowned for not getting enough of this vitamin due to the lack of sun… Why aren’t we surprised?
Carrots, sweet potato and squash: Colourful and delicious vegetables that are rich in beta-carotene. Our bodies convert this compound into vitamin A, which advances growth and the immune system.
Natural yogurt and blueberries: Being a probiotic, yogurt helps the stomach outnumber the bad bacteria with the good ones. Hurray for good bacteria! Adding blueberries gives you an immune system boost, as they have a high level of anthocyanins, (antioxidants).
Leafy greens: There’s a reason kale sales rose last year. Leafy greens contain vitamin B12 and K, essential for building bones and keeping us strong. As well as iron, which is vital for healthy red blood cells. Remember that the darker the green, the more nutritious the leaf!
While these foods are in our cold-banishing list, binging on just them as soon as you feel that tickle in your throat won’t necessarily magic it away. To really consider yourself ‘healthy’ and not be phased by your colleagues’ mountain of tissues on their desk, we recommend you incorporate these foods into your daily diet. To give you some inspiration, these are the EatFirst meals that our team love and eat regularly, all because they contain the right nutrients to keep them feeling their best. We’ve highlighted the ingredients to look out for:
Kabocha Soup: This homemade creamy soup is sure to warm you up this Winter. A blend of roasted kabocha squash, garlic, miso and ginger form the soup base, finished off with spring onion and our savoury toasted nut and seed mix, for a bit of crunch. Served with a slice of freshly baked bread and a touch of miso butter.
Salmon Teriyaki: Scottish salmon fillets are marinated in our homemade teriyaki sauce. Served with jasmine rice and quinoa pilaf, a mix of bok choy, baby corn and shiitake mushrooms.
Green Chopped Salad: Eating your greens is made easy! Kale, chicory, broccoli and puffed wild rice are tossed with fresh herbs. Avocado is pureed with miso and dried olives for a well balanced, sweet and creamy dressing.