Sneezing, coughing and nose-blowing season has officially started and it is time to bring out the hand sanitiser to try and not catch your beloved friends/colleagues' germs.
In order to keep the doctor away, an apple a day is a good start, but if you add certain foods to your diet, you could get a real immunity boost.
And here are just five!
1. Citrus fruits
Essential for fighting infections, vitamin C stimulates the production of white blood cells. Unfortunately, your body cannot store it, so you need to make sure vitamin C is on the menu every day.
While vitamin C tablets might come in handy, you can get your daily dose of ascorbic acid (the scientific name of the molecule) from oranges, grapefruits, lemons, limes or clementines.
For the very same reason, kiwis are your friends during the winter. In fact, two kiwis contain enough vitamin C to cover your recommended daily dose of the immunity-boosting nutrient.
On top of that, kiwis are also a good source of vitamin K, copper and fibre.
3. Sweet potatoes
Sweet potatoes are an excellent source of vitamin A (a powerful antioxidant) and a mere cup of cooked sweet potatoes provides more than 200% of the recommended daily intake.
Antioxidants are essential for immune system support as they help your body fight off infection. Sweet potatoes are also a very good source of vitamin C, manganese, copper, pantothenic acid and vitamin B6.
A real nutrition powerhouse, one cup of cooked broccoli is enough to cover your daily needs in vitamin K and vitamin C. It is also a very good source of chromium, folate, fibre, pantothenic acid and vitamin B6.
To make sure you get the most of the benefits, steam them instead of boiling them as this aggressive cooking process destroys most of the vitamins.
While we always love to learn about new superfoods, some of our cupboard/fridge staples can also claim the title. Take spinach for example; not only do they taste great as a salad base, they are also a true food hero.
One cup of cooked spinach contains a tremendous amount of vitamin K, while it is also an good source of vitamin A, manganese, folate and magnesium, to name a few. Just like broccoli, the least you cook it, the better!