Wednesday, December 17, 2014

What we're eating to boost our immunity this winters...

How I miss the sunshine...

The winter up here, in the plains of Punjab where we live are chilly at the best, and gloomy, bone-bitingly cold, teeth-chatteringly miserable at the worst. And where we live, central heating is the thing that you dream of while toasting your hands around a room heater, dreading that moment when you have to walk out of the room into the chillier parts of the house. You get the picture, right? ;-)

So as days slide between thick foggy mornings, cold misty evenings and pale yellow afternoons with a poached-egg of a sun, it’s getting even more important, and more challenging to stay healthy and flu-free. With bugs thick in the air and sniffles and fever knocking on every door, I’ve been trying different ways to boost our immunity and keep us an arm’s distance away from winter infections. I’m not sure how much of a victory I can claim, but I’m going to try every little trick in my book of holistic living.

Eating healthy and fresh is one of the essential ways we’ve been trying to stay fit in this difficult season. We’re tanking up on things that fill us up with nutrients and keep our immunity at its hilt (at least that's the aim). Here are a few simple things we’re eating.

Our spinach patch

1. Chomping on lots and lots of fresh green leafy veggies from my little organic garden. I grow spinach, fenugreek, mint, mustard greens and coriander, and add handfuls of these in almost every curry, soup or stir-fry that gets cooked up in our kitchen. Packed with vitamins, these are rich in chlorophyll and fiber. Simple superfoods!

I love winter veggies and fruits

2. Cooking with the whole palette of winter vegetables. I love the lushness and the variety and the flavors of winter vegetables. There are so many to choose from, so many to cook with, so many to nourish ourselves with.

3. Eating at least two different fruits everyday. Right now, the season’s ripe for oranges and bananas and apples, and we’re tucking into two out of the three every day.

4. Upping our Vitamin C intake. While I have a strip of Vit C tablets at hand, we’re trying to get ours from natural sources. I begin my day with a squeeze of lemon in warm water with honey and drink some freshly-squeezed orange juice. I also try to add lemon juice to soups and dals and breakfast cereals.

5. Gulping sunshine…err, I mean, cod liver oil capsules - our little bite of Vitamin D. While I don’t follow any specific recommendations, we do try to pop a capsule every day. I’m also going to start giving my toddler a spoonful of liquid cod liver oil as the winters get sterner.

6. Drinking lots and lots of warm water to stay hydrated and flush out those toxins. Every other day, I add a drop of lemon essential oil to a glass of water and sip it through the day.

We LOVE homemade soup to cozy up with

7. Sipping a cup of homemade soup almost everyday. I don’t know about you, but any kind of home-cooked soup does wonders for our soul during the long winter months. I try to cook a pot of vegetable or chicken soup every other day, ladling some into a bowl during the evenings.

8. Decreasing our consumption of sugar, as it slows our immune system down. I love something sweet, and with my husband gone on a long trip, my sweet cravings are even stronger. But I’m trying to hold them down by including natural sweet foods like sweet potatoes.

9. Adding lots of crushed garlic and ginger into our soups and stir-fries. Garlic is a natural antibiotic, while ginger is known to boost your immunity and prevent cold and flu.

What have you been eating this winter? Join the conversation at our Facebook page.

#healthyeating #winterfood #naturalliving

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