The Southern Hemisphere is feeling the first icy grips of winter, which means the gamut of seasonal illnesses and maladies won’t be far behind. The best way to ensure that you don’t have to give up a whole lot of productivity due to a lingering bout of flu or related wintertime conditions this season, is to boost your immune system in any way you can. This winter, we recommend that you supplement your daily balanced meal plan with a few healthful herbs and spices that will a) improve your prowess in the kitchen, and b) give you a nice complementary immunity boost to boot.
Here are a few of the delicious, warming, immune-boosting herbs and spices we will be introducing to our cooking line-up this season:
Ginger has been used in cold remedies for centuries. In fact, there is mention of it in Ancient Egyptian scrolls! It contains zingiberene, gingerols and shogaols – essential oils that give the root its trademark zing. It has loads of antimicrobial properties and can be used to expectorate mucus if you’re suffering from a lingering cough.
Turmeric is without a doubt 2018’s most sought-after spice. The yellow pigment curcumin is its main active compound and has been an ingredient in Ayurvedic medicine and other folk remedies for thousands of years. Certain cultures use it as a digestive, while others employ it as a blood cleanser and energy stimulant. Clinical trials are now showing its effectiveness in modulating the immune system and countering oxidative stress.
Cayenne pepper is another multi-faceted spice that has a whole bunch of healing properties. From aiding digestion and soothing stomach aches, to improving circulation and lowering high cholesterol, it is said to have a beneficial, holistic impact on the body in general.
TOP TIP: If you want to start your day with a health-boosting, gut-friendly bang, try the following: combine 15 ml apple cider vinegar, ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper, ½ turmeric, a squeeze of fresh lemon juice and 1-2 teaspoons of raw honey (to taste), top with boiling water and enjoy as warm as possible. This warming brew is a bit of an acquired taste, but it is a great way to get all the benefits of winter’s best-loved spices in a single go. Bonus points is you swop out the boiling water for some rooibos tea steeped with fresh ginger!
These are just a few of the many healthful herbs and spices you can include on your meal plan to boost your immune system this winter. Play around, try a few new recipes, bolster your kitchen repertoire and enjoy a range of health benefits while you’re at it. Keep your eye on the blog in coming months as we share more insight and advice on staying happy and healthy.