It’s that time of year where everyone seems to be sniffing and coughing and spluttering and sneezing everywhere! Good levels of fitness maintained by regular exercise like Power Plate classes will go a long way to keeping the sniffles at bay, but sometimes our immune systems need an extra boost, so here are our top recipes for cold-busting home remedies.
Honey and lemon and ginger
This is a favourite for soothing sore throats and colds, because all three of the ingredients have unique medicinal properties that work even better when combined:
- Honey – Adding honey doesn’t just sweeten the lemon and ginger mix and soothe your throat, it also boosts the body’s immune system by aiding the production of white blood cells. This improves your ability to fight infection and helps reduce fevers.
- Lemon – A good source of vitamin C, which recently has been proven by doctors to help stave off a cold or cure it quicker, if taken when you first start feeling ill. The vitamin C in lemon juice can also help neutralize the activity of waste products called free radicals in the body, reducing inflammation and swelling caused by free radicals in the body. By stemming damage due to inflammation in your body, vitamin C may decrease the risk of heart disease, stroke and cancer.
- Ginger – Perhaps better known for helping to relieve nausea, upset stomachs and digestive problems, ginger is also a very effective antioxidant and anti-inflammatory. As it acts as a detox too, it can help you “sweat out” the germs.
For even more of a turbo charge, try adding some turmeric to your juices and smoothies. The yellow spice that gives curry its colour, it contains compounds which have medicinal properties. The main active ingredient, curcumin, is a very powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant. Turmeric is best combined with black pepper though, as without it, curcumin is poorly absorbed into the bloodstream.
Super superfood smoothies!
Drinking a daily homemade smoothie or juice packed full of vitamins and superfood goodness can help to keep your immune system in tip-top shape, making you less susceptible to germs. Plus it gives you more energy which means you can work harder in your workouts, as well as helping to feed your muscles and speed up your recovery time.
Here are some ingredients that will supercharge your daily routine:
If you like your smoothies creamy and smooth, add half an avocado (particularly useful if you are avoiding dairy, too, as you won’t need to add milk either). They are packed full of fibre, folate and vitamin K, and even better, the healthy fats in avocados make it easier for the body to absorb all the other good stuff in your smoothie.
These are full of antioxidants that help prevent heart disease: resveratrol and flavonoids. In fact it’s thought that blueberries contain the highest antioxidant capacity of all commonly consumed fruits and vegetables and can help neutralise free radicals that cause ageing. They also contain vitamin K and are low in calories.
Chia seeds are good sources of omega-3 fatty acids (“good fat”, like that in the avocadoes we were talking about earlier). They are whole grains, so good for the heart, and also contain zinc, which has been shown to shorten the length of a cold. As they also contain vitamin B3 (Niacin), potassium, vitamin B1 (Thiamine) and vitamin B2, they are tiny seeds full of goodness!
Dark green leafy vegetables have more beta-carotene in them than carrots. Again, an antioxidant, beta-carotene is important for eye, skin and hair health. Kale is particularly useful as it’s cheap, and also quite filling, so adding a handful to your smoothies will keep you going for longer.
Chuck in a bit of apple or carrot to add a bit of sweetness, and you’ll be fit as a fiddle and all set to tackle the toughest of Pure Power workouts. We’ll look forward to seeing you in class!