Fall favourites: Seasonal ingredients to boost immunity
-By Brooke Brown
It can be a challenge to make healthful diet decisions with the change in weather and shortened days. We often want to reach for comfort foods when it’s cold and dark. But, increasing the quality of your comfort foods can leave you with more energy instead of feeling sluggish and bloated. As we enter cold and flu season, ward of germs and viruses by boosting your immunity with these seasonal ingredients.
1.) Pumpkin– Everything about this gourd is good. Pumpkin is a powerhouse of vitamins rich in antioxidant vitamins such as Vitamin- A, C and E . The sweet and savoury flesh is rich in beta-carotene, while the seeds are an excellent source of dietary fibre and mono-unsaturated fatty acids. Don’t toss the seeds, dry them out and roast them in the oven with a little sea salt.
Try: Pumpkin muffins, scones or loaf
2.) Pomegranate– Termed a “super food,” these little seeds are packed with Vitamin-C which acts as an anti-inflammatory agent and helps manage sore throats and coughs. Furthermore, polyphenols in pomegranates help to minimize the effects of free radicals and remove them from the body.
Try: Pomegranate Caprese (tomato, soft-ripened cheese and basil) salad
3.) Apples– Don’t underestimate the phrase an apple a day keeps the doctor away. Apples are rich in Vitamin- C and quercetin, having both strong antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. The phytonutrient, quercetin, helps keep our bodies resilient.
Try: A warm apple cinnamon oat crumble for dessert
4.) Tea– Do a switch-a-roo. Coffee drinkers should try to replace one cup of coffee a day with a mug of green or black tea. Tea is not only soothing when you’re under the weather, but the polyphenolic compound, catechin, provides a defense for the body.
5.) Purple Cabbage– Anthocyanins… well that’s a big word. But, blue-purple vegetables are known for their anti-bacterial and strong antioxidant activity. Another reason to consume purple cabbage is because of its high vitamin and mineral content. One cup of cabbage has just over 20 per cent of your daily recommended intake of Vitamin-A and around 80 per cent of Vitamin-C.
Try: Cabbage Rolls made with ground turkey