After a very welcome “Indian summer”, temperatures are now getting noticeably cooler, and we are all starting to brace ourselves for the winter months.
As you will no doubt be aware, irritating coughs and colds always seem to crop up at this time of year. So, it can make sense to maintain a healthy diet to boost your immune system and help ward off any viruses that happen to be around.
Read on to discover six immune-boosting recipes that you can easily put together to help you steer clear of debilitating illnesses this winter.
1. Start the day right with an oatmeal cup
With good reason, breakfast is often called “the most important meal of the day”. It is important to give your system an early boost and avoid having to go through the morning on an empty stomach.
Furthermore, a Bournemouth University report suggests that eating breakfast regularly can help improve the health of your heart and lower the risk of some types of diabetes.
However, traditional breakfast staples such as cereals and toast tend to be high in carbohydrates, which can leave you feeling bloated and lethargic at a time when you should be ready to face the day.
So, these highly versatile oatmeal cups are ideal as a balanced and nutritious breakfast option.
As you will see in this recipe, they are also convenient as they are easy to prepare, and you can batch in advance to freeze, or put them in the fridge.
2. Make the most of cranberries: an unsung health food hero
Smoothies are another healthy breakfast favourite, and this cranberry smoothie takes no time at all to prepare.
Cranberries are one of the unsung heroes of the fruit world. They are full of valuable nutrients such as antioxidants, fibre, and a range of important vitamins including C and E.
However, on their own, they can taste sharp and leave your mouth feeling dry. So, this recipe pairs them with bananas and orange juice, which both contain natural sugars, to make for a highly satisfying drink to start your day.
Once you are into the smoothie habit, there are a whole variety of options you can try out, and they are an ideal vehicle for nutrient supplement powders you can buy from any health food shop.
3. Miso soup, ideal for comfort and healthy eating
Miso is a great superfood. It contains living probiotics that may help boost your microbiome, protecting you against germs and breaking down food to produce vitamins and release energy.
This is why this recipe dictates that the miso is added after the soup is cooked, so that the heat does not kill any of the probiotics that can do so much good.
The ginger in the soup not only provides a distinctive flavour but also is an effective anti-inflammatory and can help you ward off colds.
As with smoothies, once you are into a regular routine of preparing soups, you can rustle up your own variations depending on what you happen to have to hand in your kitchen cupboards and fridge.
4. Try this tasty “superfood” lasagne
It is likely that an average pasta dish would not normally appear on your list of healthy meals.
But this lasagne is packed with specific vegetables that can give your immune system a real boost, such as spinach, mushrooms, and kale. Furthermore, the sauce is flavoured with low-fat ricotta, which makes the whole dish as satisfying and hearty as the traditional meat version.
This recipe serves six, so you will be able to put any leftovers in the fridge once it has cooled down to enjoy in the next day or so. For best results, put some more cheese on top and reheat it in the oven.
5. A hearty beef casserole is perfect on a winter evening
One of the archetypal winter foods is a stew or casserole cooked gradually in the oven or slow cooker.
Just the smell of it spreading around the house can warm you up and give you a mental boost on the coldest of days. Cooked with the right ingredients, it can also be a very healthy option.
It is the vegetables that help boost the immune system in this recipe, as onions, carrots, garlic, and celery are all high in important vitamins.
As with the lasagne, you can reheat any leftovers, maybe after padding it out with some pulses such as cannelloni beans.
6. Baked pears can be the basis for a healthy sweet treat
After a lasagne or casserole, you might want something sweet as a dessert. Alternatively, you might just be looking for a simple treat to cheer yourself up on a cold evening at home.
This baked pear recipe is easy to put together and can tick both of those boxes.
As well as being very tasty, it is also a remarkably healthy option. Research reported by the US National Library of Medicine, suggests that pears are a rich source of the types of antioxidants that can help fight chronic disease and aging.
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This blog is for general information only and does not constitute advice. The information is aimed at retail clients only.