IMMUNITY BOOSTERS - how foods can help you fight the common cold this winter.
How well protected are you against the common cold and flu? Even if you have had a flu jab you still need to wash your hand religiously and should take Vitamin C for extra insurance. You may also want to try the herb Echinacea when you start to feel grotty.
You should also remember that what you eat may also help to prevent or even treat those common illnesses. Try these ideas and you may just avoid getting a cold this season.
Chicken Soup has been called ‘Natures Penicillin’ as it can help clear airways and the nourishing broth will give you more energy.
Garlic contains a flavouring agent called ‘allinin’ which acts as a decongestant. It also acts as an antioxidant and therefore protects the cells. So add garlic to your favourite foods such as pasta with tomatoes.
Reach for citrus fruits to increase your Vitamin C intake. Drink orange juice for breakfast, snack on ½ a grapefruit or add tangerine slices or kiwi fruit to a lunchtime salad.
Potatoes, green peppers strawberries and pineapples are also good sources of Vitamin C and will also help you fight colds so make them a part of your daily diet.
Many people find that fresh ginger root helps to treat coughs and the fever that often accompanies colds and flu. Try making ginger tea – pour a cup of boiling water over 2 tablespoons of freshly grated ginger and let it steep for 5-10 minutes.
Whole grains are rich in vitamins and minerals including zinc and Vitamin E which can help keep your immune system healthy. So choose whole grain pasta, bread and rice rather than the ‘white’ versions.
Fluids are vital in fighting infection, so stay hydrated with lots of liquids such as water, fresh juice and herbal teas (peppermint, chamomile and ginger) rather than fizzy drinks and caffeine.
Remember that a daily routine of high fat and sugar, junk foods , skipped meals and lots of caffeine can make you susceptible to lots of illness especially colds and flu. Instead eat plenty of whole grains, fruit and vegetables and low fat protein to keep your immune system strong.