Boost your immune system with these superfoods

As the colder weather sets in, your body is more likely to be hit by cold and flu viruses. A low immune system can leave you feeling run down, tired and sluggish. Make sure you’re in top shape this year by adding some superfoods to your diet.

Nutrient-rich foods can really benefit your health and wellbeing. Here are a few of our favourites…

1. Spinach
This leafy green wonder is a huge source of Vitamin C, the ultimate immune-booster. It’s also high in iron, which protects hair and nails (and gives you giant muscles, if you’re Popeye). Baby spinach is an easy option for salads, and try wilting it into a soup or curry for great texture and taste.

2. Red bell peppers
Red peppers contain TWICE as much vitamin C as oranges do, so if you’re trying to ward off a cold they should be your go-to vegetable. Aside from keeping your system fighting fit, vitamin C also acts as an antihistamine which can prevent allergies and alleviate the symptoms of a cold.

3. Garlic
This flavourful food is full of antioxidants which help your immune system to run well. Fresh garlic could also help tummy upsets from food poisoning as it is believed to kill bad bacteria such as E.coli and Salmonella.

4. Goji berries
These little guys are more powerful than they look. They’ve been around in Asia for years – the Chinese herbalist Li Ching Yuen, who apparently lived to the ripe old age of 256, was their biggest fan. Goji berries are bursting with antioxidants which improve vitality, protect the liver and can act as anti-inflammatories. These berries are even believed to help fight cancer. A handful a day is the recommended amount – eat them solo or add them to smoothies, porridge or salads.

5. Beans
Black beans, kidney beans, chickpeas, edamame or good old Heinz – whatever your favourite, beans are a great source of magnesium, potassium, protein and fibre. They’re great value too. Eat them cold in a salad or add to soups, stews and other hot dishes.