By Amina AlTai.
Our sandals are officially stowed away, our summer linens are buried beneath drawers of sweaters and the warm sunlight and sand are but distant memories. With the inevitable chillier temperatures and dissipating sunlight comes a few changes for our bodies as well. And while the dip in temperatures and shorter days might affect us, we don’t always change our ways of eating to support those changes or our immunity for that matter. But we should! When you have access to local and seasonal goodies at the market you should take full advantage to bolster your immune system this season. Here are a few of our favorite health-boosting superfoods sourced from some of the finest vendors in the area.
I could sing the praises of mushrooms all day! Mushrooms produce vitamin D in response to being exposed to sunlight, making them a great dietary source of the vital vitamin. And in the fall and winter months, when there is less sunlight, more of us become vitamin D deficient which can cause a whole host of issues— poor immunity being one of them. Stuffed mushroom and mushroom soups are great additions to your fall and winter meal plans and are a great way to load up on extra vitamin D.
Fewer hours of sunlight and the colder temps can cause some of us to suffer from slight depression. But thanks to the powerful compounds in turmeric it means we might not need to reach straight for the antidepressants. According to a study published in the Journal of Phytotherapy Research turmeric is hugely powerful in correcting depression. Weaving it into curries, or even golden milk chai, is a great way to incorporate more turmeric into your diet this season.
Ginger is one of my favorite foods for the transitional weather because of its wonderful warming properties. It’s actually part of the same family as turmeric and has powerful actives that fight infection—making it my go-to for cold and flu season. Gingerol, the bioactive substance in fresh ginger, can help lower the risk of infections and inhibit the growth of many types of bacteria. It’s also a wonderful digestive aide and as we tend to go to bed earlier in the cooler months (and don’t allow our bodies as much time to digest) it can help speed up the process for us. Ginger is an amazing addition to your morning green juice, or even to a cup of tea before dinner.
Garlic is highly potent anti-viral and is known to boost the immune system and is exceptionally great at warding off the common cold. The health benefits are activated when the garlic is chopped, crushed or chewed and a compound known as allicin is released. It’s actually what gives garlic it’s very distinct smell. Eating a raw clove might sound off-putting so work it into a raw dish like pesto or a delicious homemade salad dressing.