5 Things to boost your Immune system this winter

June, July, August. These months tend to give us Aussies a though time with both comfortability and keeping healthy. It's almost like we catch colds on a bi-weekly basis, always recovering from the latest sniffle fearing the return of the Winter sniffles or even a battle with the dreaded winter flu. Good news! Plants can help boost immunity to fight off these road bumps and keep you protected from the winter elements, bacteria in the atmosphere and the spread of virus'. Here are some great foods to incorporate into your daily diet to keep you functioning at your best.

Mushrooms:
Mushrooms are very much a favorite of mine. Not only are they incredibly delicious, protein packed and a great addition to savory dishes but they up our blood cell production. This means, our cells become more aggressive and are more likely to fight off disease. I love eating marinated mushrooms in stir fries with tempeh, veggies, beans and rice. They're also great with scrambled Tofu on toast, in soups, raw in salads, in curries, on pizza - you know the drill.

Broccoli:
I mean, it can do absolutely no wrong. Broccoli is a lean, mean, green fighting machine when it comes to defending you from disease and poor health in general. What makes the Little Trees so great for boosting immunity is it being loaded with vitamins A, C and E which keep our bodies functioning optimally and shield us from disease because we're not so run-down and vulnerable. Some say, "Eat it raw for optimal nutrients" but raw broccoli causes some gas for some and is not an enjoyable experience. I Love it steamed on the side, in stir-fries, curries, in pasta.

Spinach:
It's no surprise. Spinach is loaded with folate which helps our bodies produce more DNA and repair DNA cells. This will keep your body golden, your hair growing and your skin glowing. I know some people have a hard time eating this one so make sure you cook it down with spices on the side of your breakfast, in smoothies with heaps of tropical fruits so you don't taste it, mixed with lettuce in salads to add texture, in pasta sauces and in soups too.

Sweet Potato:
Yes! One of my favorites. Sweet potato is loaded with vitamin A which will turn your cells into tanks. Vitamin A creates a barrier/shielding effect between our cells and bacteria. One of the best things about Sweet Potatoes is their versatility. You can make sweet potato fries with guacamole, shredded into hash browns, mashed, as a binder in cake mixes (mashed and steamed before of course), on Pizza, Baked with delicious fillings - sweet (peanut butter, maple syrup and banana) or savory (sriracha, beans and rice).

Tea:
Drink up! Your favorite chill-out and un-winding beverage is doing you a world of favors. Both green and black teas do just the same. Tea contains polyphenols and flavonoids that go on a mission to seek out free radicals and destroy them. Fighting the war for health.

The proof is in the veggie casserole. Load up on your plants this time of year and make some hearty and healthy meals that keep you functioning at your best, so you can give your life your all!

By Alix Laidler