It’s that time of year again. The temperature is dropping, the wind is getting cooler and we all want to avoid the dreaded cold and flu.
Yes, you can always get a jab in the shoulder, but it only offers you protection against the strains of flu the vaccine is designed for. Try adding a few of these immune boosting foods to your regular intake this autumn and winter to help you stay flu free this year.
- Nuts and seeds such as almonds, brazil nuts peanuts and peanut butter, pine nuts, pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds
- Oily fish such as tuna, salmon, sardines
- Sweet potato
These foods all contain the key nutrients Vitamin A, C and E, zinc, selenium, antioxidants and omega-3 fatty acids.
Vitamin A, C and E all play a role in strengthening the immune system and improving resistance, therefore can help protect against sore throats, colds and other infections.
Vitamin A comes in the form of retinol found in meat, fish and eggs, and beta-carotene in brightly coloured vegetables. Did you now one carrot can provide the recommended daily intake of vitamin A? You may also remember your mother or grandmother swearing by cod liver oil – this is because it is so high in vitamin A too.
Oranges and berries are high in vitamin C. As well as offering boosting immune function they provide powerful antioxidants to fight stress and free radicals in the body and further aid the immune system strength.
Nuts and needs are high in vitamin E. Selenium, found in brazil nuts, fish and sunflower seeds increases the potency of vitamin E. Oysters, pumpkin seeds and brazil nuts are all night in zinc which is great for boosting the immune system and can possibly shorten the duration of cold and flus.
Finally, omega-3 fatty acids, we hear frequently of the anti-inflammatory properties of oily fish, linseeds and walnuts due to their high levels of omega 3.
Including these as part of an all round balanced whole food diet will certainly have you on your way to beating the cold and flu this season!