Nutritionist: These are the FIVE foods I eat daily in winter to keep my immune system healthy and strong – and the warming recipes I swear by
- Nutritionist Jessica Sepel has shared the five foods she eats daily in winter
- They include garlic, turmeric, greens, eggs and extra virgin olive oil
- She explains the benefits of each and shares her favourite nutritious recipes
Nutritionist Jessica Sepel eats garlic, turmeric, greens, eggs and extra virgin olive oil daily to keep her immune system in peak shape during the winter months.
The Australian wellness professional, who is behind the JSHealth Vitamins empire, consumes a ‘nutrient rich’ diet during the cold and flu season while fulfilling her craving for ‘warming and nourishing foods’ that keep her satiated.
‘These are my personal favourite winter superfoods that I am conscious of using during the colder months. They are so easy to incorporate into your everyday cooking,’ she wrote on her blog.
‘I was truly blown away when I began to understand at a deeper level how the food we eat impacts a whole host of bodily functions.’
Nutritionist Jessica Sepel eats garlic, turmeric, greens, eggs and extra virgin olive oil daily to keep her immune system in peak shape during the winter months
Garlic is a natural antibiotic due to its anti-microbial properties.
Garlic also supports a healthy cardiovascular system, lowers blood pressure and promotes healthy cell regeneration thanks to its high sulfur content.
The latter, according to health experts, has been shown to ‘significantly reduce levels of a protein called myeloperoxidase that might lead to bone loss or cardiovascular disease’.
‘I love to add it to salad dressings, soups, stir-fries and veggie roasts,’ Jessica said.
‘If you don’t have a garlic crusher, I highly recommend buying one, they make preparing fresh garlic so easy.’
Recipe: How to make Jessica Sepel’s Healthy Fried Rice with Kale, Garlic and Chilli
1 cup brown rice, uncooked
1/2 onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
3 cups kale, finely chopped
2 tbsp tamari
2 tbsp sesame/coconut oil
1-2 organic, free range eggs (optional)
Chilli flakes (optional)
Sesame seeds and chopped spring onion, to top
1. Cook the brown rice according to instructions, set aside.
2. Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium-low heat. Add the onions, stirring until soft and translucent (4-5 minutes). Add garlic and sauté for a further 2-3 minutes. Add the kale and stir until wilted.
3. Add the rice and cook for another two minutes, stirring.
4. At this stage, you may choose to add 1-2 organic eggs. If so, crack two eggs into a separate bowl and whisk slightly. Then add to hot saucepan with rice, stirring the egg through the mixture until completely cooked.
5. Add the tamari and cook for another minute. Divide into two bowls, top with sesame seeds, spring onion and chilli flakes and serve.
Turmeric is a spice that not only adds a beautiful flavour to foods but it also has anti-inflammatory properties.
According to CHOICE, the curcumin in turmeric has also been used in both traditional Indian (Ayurvedic) and Chinese medicine to treat a range of ailments affecting the blood, liver, joints, immune system, and digestive tract.
Research has also found that turmeric and curcumin significantly reduces blood LDL and triglycerides so may protect patients at risk of cardiovascular disease.
‘I love to add a teaspoon to soups, stir-fries, scrambled eggs, turmeric lattes and cauliflower rice,’ Jessica said.
‘I love to add a teaspoon to soups, stir-fries, scrambled eggs, turmeric lattes and cauliflower rice,’ Jessica said
Rich green foods are full of nutrients and antioxidants that can support the immune system throughout winter including chlorophyll, magnesium, iron, calcium and folate.
‘Broccoli and kale are two examples of greens rich in vitamin C. Vitamin C is key when it comes to supporting immune function,’ Jessica said.
‘Our bodies can’t make it’s own vitamin C so it’s important that we get it through our diet.’
Recipe: How to make Jessica Sepel’s Creamy Broccoli Pasta
2 x organic broccoli heads, chopped into florets
1/4 cup milk of choice
3 tbsp olive oil
3 tbsp warm water
1 tbsp parmesan cheese shavings (optional)
salt, to taste,
black pepper, to taste
chilli flakes, to taste
1 packet of mung bean or brown rice pasta
chopped basil, to taste
1. Steam or boil the broccoli heads until they’re soft. Cut them into florets.
2. While the broccoli is steaming, cook the pasta according to the packet instructions.
3. When the broccoli is cooked, place the broccoli in a food processor. Add the milk, olive oil, salt, pepper, chilli and parmesan (if using). Blitz until you’ve reached a creamy pure.
4. Once the pasta is cooked, strain it and place it back into the pot. Add the broccoli sauce and stir it until the pasta is well coated.
5. To serve, divide the pasta between bowls and top with extra parmesan and chopped basil.
Eggs are high in protein, B-group vitamins and essential fatty acids which along with supporting immune functioning, work to keep us energised during the cooler months.
An average serving of two eggs contains 82 per cent of your daily Vitamin D requirements, 50 per cent of your daily folate requirements, 25 per cent of your daily riboflavin (Vitamin B2) requirements and 40 per cent of your daily selenium requirements.
They also contain vitamins A, E, B5, B12, as well as iron, iodine and phosphorus which are key in supporting a balanced diet.
Eggs are high in protein, B-group vitamins and essential fatty acids which along with supporting immune functioning, work to keep us energised during the cooler months. You can find Jessica’s gut-loving green brekky bowl recipe here
EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL
‘A true superfood,’ Jessica said, adding that olive oil is rich in nourishing fatty acids and antioxidants which can help to reduce inflammation.
‘When picking olive oil opt for extra virgin olive oil where possible as it means no heat has been added during processing,’ she said.
‘Extra virgin olive oil is my cooking oil of choice, it’s perfect for roasting veggies and is delicious drizzled straight onto salads.’