Winter is the time of year when coughs, colds and flu viruses run riot.  Once the temperature drops, they are out in force.  What you eat can have a significant impact on your immune system and in turn your susceptibility – or not, to such bugs.  It can also change the level from which you suffer and the time in which you recover.  Here are five of the best winter health foods – some of which might surprise you.

The Humble Potato

The not food you might instantly think of as being a health food, instead often binned for being starchy.  However, potatoes contain essential immune boosting vitamins.  Vitamin C is well known to be a vital cold-fighting vitamin, and the humble potato contains 25% or your RDA.  If you are looking for vitamin B6, you will your tatties can help here too providing a whopping 29% RDA.

Smash it With Squash

In the colder months squashes, like butternut, spaghetti and acorn are found in abundance.  Nature has a way of providing what is needed so it should come as no surprise that these winter veggies are packed with nutrients that will bolster your immunity.  Here you will find vitamins A, C, B6 and K – and all within a one cup serving – delicious and warming, what are you waiting for.

C is for Citrus

One of the better known cold fighting foods is the orange.  All citrus fruits are high in vitamin C but to be fair none are as easily palatable as the orange.  Just one medium-sized fruit offers you over 100% of your RDA of vitamin C, which really cannot be overlooked.  Some people enjoy grapefruit for their breakfast but you don’t fancy chomping on this, and lemon and limes leave you recoiling why not try juicing them in with other fruits for a nutritious smoothie.

Go for Green

Popeye was definitely onto something with his love of spinach.  While you don’t need to eat it by the can, it is worth remembering the benefits of all dark leafy greens.  This includes kale and collards.  While they might have quite a strong bitter taste alone, mixed with other veggies they can pack a powerful virus-fighting punch.  They are a potent source of iron and include the vitamins A, C and K, so eating these regularly can help you stave off those pesky colds.

Pop in a Pomegranate

The modern way to get your pomegranate fix is to grab yourself a glass of juice, and there is indeed nothing wrong with that at all.  If you like eating the fruit in its more natural state that is also perfect if a little fiddly.  While it may not strike you immediately as a winter health food, pomegranate contains masses of vital antioxidants which are needed for a healthy immune system.  It has also been suggested that this potent fruit may have the ability to aid blood flow in those that suffer from certain heart conditions.  Another useful tool to keep in your kitchen this winter.

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