Boost the immune system and natural intake through foods is the best way to get them.
As the summer draws to a close and the colder months creep in, we begin to think about flu season and how to best protect ourselves.
It’s safe to say 2020 has been a year of focusing on our health and making sure we’re doing the upmost to stay well.
While there are plenty of lotions and potions to help us, there is a great way to boost your immune system naturally.
Indian spices such as cinnamon, ginger and turmeric not only add wonderful flavour to meals — and even hot drinks — but are full of nutrients with immune-boosting properties.
Arun Kapil, owner of Green Saffron and often referred to as the Irish Spiceman, has shared his top five spices to incorporate into your diet and help you ahead of flu season.
He said: ‘Though spices should not be seen as a fix all magic bullet, many do possess vitamins, antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties which can contribute to immunity and digestion health, especially in the winter months.’
Commonly associated with the autumn months, cinnamon has a warm and spiced aroma and is rich in antioxidants.
The spice is obtained from the inner bark of several tree species from the genus Cinnamomum which is commonly used to fight against flu.
Pop some cinnamon in your porridge in the morning or add a sprinkle to warm milk before bed.
Grown in India, Vietnam, Thailand and Indonesia, turmeric has often been talked about in the media in the last few years for helping in boosting the immune system and fighting against viral replication.
Turmeric may be the most effective nutritional supplement in existence, Arun says, with many studies showing that is has major benefits for your body and brain.
To add it into your diet, you can sprinkle turmeric over any vegetables when roasting in the oven or blitz fresh turmeric into all types of pastes and marinades for fish, lamb and beef. Some even pop turmeric into smoothies!
Ginger, related to turmeric, has been praised for centuries for helping fight ailments and is available in a host of forms.
The spice has rich nutritional elements with anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, which help fight infection.
Ginger can be added to almost any dish, from green smoothies to stir fries to most herbal teas. Try it with hot water, lemon and honey in the morning to set you up for the day.
Cumin comes from a flowering herbaceous annual plant. When the fruits are ready to harvest, they turn yellow brown.
After drying, the fruits can be dry-roasted or friend in ghee to maximise their intensely savoury flavour.
Cumin seeds have vitamin C, which helps bolster the immunity system. It also possesses antibacterial properties that keep infections and diseases at bay.
Top Tip: Incorporate into roast dishes, either incorporated while in a crust for the meat, or ground and used as part of marinade
Pepper, the King of Spices native to India; it was India’s Black Gold. Peppercorns contain an impressive list of plant derived chemical compounds that are known to have disease preventing and health promoting properties.
Black peppers have been in use since centuries for their anti-inflammatory, carminative, anti-flatulent properties. Peppercorns are a good source of many antioxidant vitamins such as vitamin-C and vitamin-A.
Pepper can be sprinkled on to any savoury dish to add perfume and pleasant background heat or as light dusting on dark rich fruits; plums, figs, cherries, blackberries, raspberries etc