With winter just around the corner flu season is bearing down on us. You don’t need to take lots of medicine or tablets, simply follow our advice by incorporating the following foods and you can protect yourself from flu while setting your body up to function as efficiently as possible. Give it a go and add the foods below to your weekly shop. Notice the difference not only on your body but also your energy levels and general well being.

healthy food

Blueberries can help preserve memory function. Flavonoids found in blueberries are natural compounds that protect the brain’s neurons from the effects of oxidation and inflammation.  They also pack a punch as one serving provides you with 25% of your daily vitamin C requirements. 

Eggs are a superfood. We constantly go on about the benefits of eggs at Mindful Chef so we can’t leave them off of this list. Lots of lean protein and healthy fats aren’t the only reason eggs are great. They also contain Cysteine – an amino acid that helps your liver rid your body of unwanted toxins. 

Spinach is packed full of antioxidants, vitamins C and K, beta carotene and is a great source of iron. One serving can help improve cardiovascular and bone health while at the same time keeping your hair and nails strong and healthy.  

Fruit the fructose found in fruit will naturally help boost your energy to take on anything the day may throw at you. The fiber will help your digestive system function more effectively which is integral if your goal is weight loss. Avocado and raspberries are both great examples of fruits containing high amounts of fiber. 

Red peppers actually have more than double the amount of vitamin C than an orange. Peppers contain powerful anti oxidants which help your body fight off free radicals which can lead to problems with cancer and heart complications. Peppers also have a high water content which helps in hydrating your skin cells. 

Pumpkins are another food that contain lots of anti oxidants and minerals. Beta-carotene helps rejuvenate skin and protect your eyes. Pumpkins have a high level of potassium, a mineral that keeps your bones healthy and aids proper cell and nerve function. Pumpkin seeds have a balance of healthy fats, protein and serotonin-promoting amino acids. Serotonin is the hormone that makes us all feel a bit happier and helps us sleep better; and with cold weather just around the corner, we could all do with a natural mood boost.

Steaks are rich with an essential fatty acid called arachidonic acid. This EFA can help increase protein turnover and synthesis. This may allow you to maintain and build more muscle while you are dieting. Stearic acid found in red meat can also help reduce cholesterol levels by reducing intestinal cholesterol absorption. Stearic acid also fights against type 2 diabetes by preventing arterial clotting. 

Nuts are a fantastic source of heart-healthy unsaturated fats. We all know by now that eating fat won’t make us fat. In fact if your main goal is weight loss you need to have a diet rich in healthy fats. Take walnuts for example. Due to their good fat content and omega 3 profile they have been linked to an improved mood and better heart health. They help to maintain good cholesterol levels. 

Coconut water is filled with minerals, vitamins, anti oxidants and is a great source of potassium. Potassium is integral for proper nerve and cell function. Christmas is just around the corner and many of us will indulge in a drink or two. Alcohol acts as a diuretic and will dehydrate you. Keep a carton in the fridge and use it to replace any lost electrolytes from training or drinking. 

Broccoli has been well documented for being a superfood. See our whole page dedicated to it’s benefits.  Containing vitamins C, A and K Broccoli also provides a good amount of sulforaphane. Research shows sulforaphane helps stimulate the body’s detoxifying enzymes and in turn can help fight cancer.