Updated: Oct 4, 2021
(This article is about how food can have a positive effect on the body from a chefs point of view. The information in this article is collected from hours of research, information from medical professionals and personal experience. This is not intended to give out professional medical advice. Please refer to official medical pages or contact your local doctor, dietician or pharmacist if you are looking for medical advice especially if you have other medical conditions. Each persons body is different so what might work and is suited for one person doesn’t mean it will work or be suited for everyone.)
Autumn and winter are full of excitement with Halloween and Christmas, but along with the seasonal joy and spirit these colder months also tend to have a habit of bringing cases of the sniffles with colds and flus. One of the reasons for this is with shorter days and longer nights our bodies defence system carries around a grey cloud that blocks one of our most valuable natural defence systems. Vitamin D. Due to this our bodies are more likely to get colds due to a knock to our immune system, it's also why we can feel more tired and groggy in these darker months.
During these times food and drink that can help make us feel good and give us an additional boost to get back to feeling better. There are many foods full of natural vitamins, fats, minerals and more good things our bodies need. This is a few ways how you can incorporate them into your diet to help your health and even in your daily routine.
1. Lemon, Honey And Ginger.
Lemon is known for improving the immune system and flushing out toxins from the body. Manuka honey is a more pure and raw form of honey. Manuka honey is very useful if you have a sore throat, it can help soothe the throat and aid in getting rid of bacteria as it is a natural antibacterial . It can also help relieve symptoms of IBS (irritable Bowl Syndrome) as it reduces inflammation and helps get rid of toxins throughout the digestive system. Ginger is known to have many medical benefits as it is an antioxidant such as helping with nausea.
Ways to use Lemon, Honey and Ginger:
Scrub the lemons with salt and wash them repeating 4 times. Wash and peel ginger then thinly slice the lemon (making sure to remove the seeds) and ginger into thin slices. In a sterilised jar add an inch of honey then layer the lemon and ginger in the jar. leave about an inch from the top of the jar and then fill with honey making sure it covers the lemon and ginger completely before closing the jar. Store in the fridge for 3 days making sure to shake it each night to get the honey evenly distributed. after 3 days
you can enjoy the lemon and ginger in tea, in lemonade or you can use it in desserts.
you can use lemon in hot tea, water or you could add it into juices in the morning if you have a juice press.
honey is good on toast, especially if you have it with a banana which will add additional potassium. You can also use honey on your cereal, in tea, in smoothies or even to have 1 teaspoon to ease a sore throat.
ginger can be used in cooking, in juices, desserts or tea.
Garlic is full of vitamin B and C among many other things. this small bulb packs a huge nutritional punch. Garlic is used to add flavour to many dishes around the world but is also great for your immune system.
A great way to use garlic in cooking is in soups or broths. If you peel and crush the garlic before adding it into any broth it will release a milder taste of the garlic but keep it large enough that you can be sure to eat the garlic too. If you are looking for stronger garlic flavour then chop or mince the garlic.
Peeling and chopping garlic can be more time consuming which is why i prefer to mince or chop lots of garlic at one time and store the rest for later. Get 6 bulbs of garlic, peel all the cloves and cut the end of the cloves off. Place all the garlic in a food processor and blend until all the garlic is minced. you can keep some in the fridge in a container covering the garlic in vegetable oil to keep it fresh. The rest of the garlic you can store flattened in a zip-lock bag in the freezer. If you want to store the garlic in the freezer in portions, you can use an ice cube tray with some vegetable oil and once it's frozen transfer the cubes to a zip-lock bag.
3. Leafy greens.
Leafy greens are known to have loads of positive effects on our bodies there are various leafy vegetables available which are packed with vitamins.
spinach is high in in vitamin A and B, is a source of iron and fibre. a great way to use spinach is in smoothies, salads, in soups and as a side. There are many ways to cook or use spinach but when cooking spinach remember to not dispose of the water or juices that come out when cooking the spinach as they are full of vitamins. This is why i don't recommend boiling spinach as it loses a lot of vitamins and spinach doesn't require much cooking time.
kale one of the most nutritious leafy green vegetables. Full of vitamin A, K, C and many more it packs a punch when it comes to boosting the immune system. it is great when used in stews, soups or even baked!
there are many more leafy green vegetables that have a wide variety of nutritional benefits that you can explore such as pak choi, romaine lettuce and chard. Adding more of them into your diet through the autumn and winter months will help give you additional vitamins.
There are many different foods and drinks that can overall improve symptoms of a cold, so take care of your health and look after yourself so especially in the winter when it comes to building up the vitamins you may lack in comparison to the rest of the year. Hearty foods and drinks such as stews, soups, pies and warm tea will keep you warm and nourished through the cold seasons. As the weather gets colder and the days get shorter remember to eat well and stay hydrated.