Vladia Cobrdova, Wellness Ambassador for About life
We often think the summer months are the most challenging when it comes to keeping our bodies well nourished, but I can’t emphasize enough how important winter hydration is. Keeping our bodies hydrated and protected against the harsh cold weather can be done both through what you eat, as well as a variety of delicious drinks.
Broths are without doubt your go-to food this season – they are fabulous for your health, incredibly nutritious and hydrating, whilst also being easy to make. Bone broth is a 24-hour, slow-cooked food and therefore it contains huge amounts of nutrients, collagen and minerals. It has been around for many years – it’s not new, it’s just that we are going back to our roots and eating real food like our grand grandparents used to! The key is choosing immune boosting ingredients, which will keep you well nourished throughout the cooler months.
My other top tip for boosting your immunity during the winter months is actually, belive it or not, a cold shower. Even though you feel like snuggling into a warm bed after a long hot shower, a cold shower actually helps you build immunity, as well as having other great benefits such as raising your metabolism, energising, and keepsing your skin looking youthful!
Studies show that taking regular cold showers increases the amount of disease fighting white blood cells, compared to taking regular hot showers. The reason being is that the body attempts to warm itself during a cold shower, resulting in an increase in the metabolic speed rate and activation of the immune system. This then leads to the release of more white blood cells. Cold showers, when alternated between hot and cold water, will help your lymphatic system, by contracting the lymph vessels when exposed to the cold and relaxing them when exposed to the heat. This essentially pumps the fluid that may have stagnated in your lymph vessels out, resulting in a stronger immune system and healthier you. So finish your warm morning shower with blast of full cold on your body and hair!
Here are my top recipes to keep you fighting fit this winter – they’re all super easy.
Ideal for building immunity and giving you a burst of nutritious energy to start the day.
The following recipe makes a 600ml smoothie.
1 tbs bircher muesli, soaked
1 orange, peeled
Half tsp turmeric
1 knob fresh ginger, grated
1.5 cups rice milk
1 tbs freshly grated ginger
1 tsp cinnamon
Blitz all ingredients in a blender until desired consistency is achieved.
The perfect soup to beat that winter chill. This soup is warming, soothing, immune-boosting and uses ingredients which are known to be anti-inflammatory.
1 x brown onion, chopped
1 x clove of garlic, chopped
1 tablespoon of ghee
Half head of a medium cauliflower, chopped
2 cans of chopped tomatoes
1 knob turmeric, with skin, chopped
1 knob ginger, with skin, chopped
1 cube veggie stock (or equivalent)
3 cups of water
1 can of coconut milk
Fry off the onion and garlic in a large pot with the ghee until translucent.
Add all the ingredients (apart from coconut milk).
Cook for 45 minutes on a slow heat.
Add the coconut milk towards the end and heat slowly so it doesn’t curdle.
Blend until smooth and serve with a garnish of fresh coriander, a wedge of lime, chilli flakes and coconut chips
The below is a traditional recipe which also adds some immune boosting foods to help keep you healthy, nourished and glowing.
3 big beef bones grass fed
1 stalk of celery
1 carrot whole with skin
1 big clove of garlic smashed with skin
2 small potatoes with skin
1 knob of ginger
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup of goji berries
1 bunch of kale stalks
2 tsp of Himalayan salt
1/2 knob of turmeric
Place all the ingredients into a large pot, cover with filtered water and cook on the lowest heat for 24 hrs. I usually start just after I get home from work and the next day, when I’m back, the broth is ready to take off.
Cool and strain before putting into fridge.
The chilled broth will have layer of fat on the top – skim this fat off and place liquid broth into freezer bags so you can leave in freezer until you need to use.
Use as a broth in curries, soups, for poaching meat, fish or veggies and cooking rice or grains such quinoa, freekah, millet.
A vegetarian take on the above recipe for Immune Boosting Broth.
These two broths contains ginger and turmeric, which are known remedies for gastro-intestinal and inflammatory conditions, due to the active ingredient of Curcumin (found in turmeric). This powerhouse ingredient is an anti-oxidant, detoxifier and your digestion’s best friend – and good gut health is the ultimate key to a well functioning body. Add to that the apple cider vinegar, and you’re truly supporting your immune system in the best possible way.
2 celery stalks
2 carrots, whole (with skin)
1 big clove garlic, smashed (with skin)
2 small potatoes
1 small knob ginger
2 tbs apple cider vinegar
1 bunch kale stalks
2 tsps Himalayan pink salt
1/2 small knob turmeric or 1tbs turmeric powder
Place all ingredients into a large pot, cover with filtered water and bring to the boil. Cook on a low heat for two hours.
Store in sealed container for up to one week in the refrigerator.
TANGY CURRIED COCONUT NOURISHING BROTH
For a different take on the traditional Nourishing Broth…
2 cups nourishing broth (above)
30mls coconut milk
¼ tsp curry powder
1/2 lime, juiced
1 sprig fresh coriander leaves
Heat nourishing broth and add coconut milk, curry powder, lime juice and coriander leaves.
½ cup spinach
1 stalk kale
1/4 peeled lemon, diced
1 sprig basil leaves
¾ cup water
10mls extra virgin olive oil
Pinch of cayenne pepper
Pinch of salt and pepper
Combine ingredients in a blender.
Blitz until smooth and serve.