Flu fighting foods

One means of fighting flu is to get a vaccination but for those who are squeamish about needles, boosting your immune system through natural methods may be a better option.

Coughs and colds are common throughout winter but by quickly boosting the antioxidants in your system, you can fight these off and stop them becoming something more serious, such as flu. Foods that are rich in Vitamin A, C or E can help you fight infection and keep you healthier through winter. So why not litter your diet with the following foods for a natural boost to your immune system.

1. Yogurt – Simply mixing some natural yogurt with your cereal in the morning or enjoying a tub each day with a squirt of honey will line your intestines with good bacteria. Other vital nutrients in yogurt such as protein, calcium and vitamins B6 and B12 help maintain a healthy diet.

2. Red capsicums – Rich in Vitamin A and C, snacking on sliced capsicum, dipped in a garlic-rich hummus, which adds a dose of manganese, vitamin B6 and selenium is a tasty way to battle flu.

3. Nuts – Stay away from the roasted and salted variety and a handful of nuts each day, particularly almonds and Brazil nuts, will not only provide your immune system with added Vitamin E and selenium but you can also lower your cholesterol thanks to their cardiac benefits

4. Green Tea – for years the Chinese have understood the medicinal properties of green tea and incorporated this drink into their daily diet. Containing the immune boosting chemical called epigallocatechin gallate, green tea can also help you recover from illness faster.

5. Sweet Potatoes – as with carrots, sweet potatoes are rich in beta carotene which becomes Vitamin A when digested.

6. Ginger – not only does the compound gingerol help fight off infections, this plant is also good for the digestion. For a super sweet treat, try crystalised ginger dipped in dark chocolate or infuse your green tea with ginger root to add a little extra zing.

7. Chicken soup – not only does a bowl of warm broth make you feel better, when made with plenty of vegetables, but the anti-inflammatory properties also help keep mucus at bay. Got you in the mood? Try our recipe for flu-fighting chicken noodle soup.

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