Discover the power of immune-boosting foods in combating colds and flu as we explore nutritious options to fortify your body’s defences. The colder mornings have crept in as a result, the cold and flus are becoming prominent. Eating a balanced diet rich in nutrients can help to support your immune system and reduce the risk of getting sick.

Read on as we deep dive into some foods that provide essential nutrients and support immune function.



Immune Boosting Foods – Citrus Fruits


When thinking about flu fighting foods, Vitamin C is probably the first thing you think of – and orange you glad you did…Fruits high in Vitamin C such as oranges, lemons, grapefruits or kiwis play an important role in keeping your immune system working efficiently and helps your body to absorb iron from the diet.  When you start to feel those sniffles, reach for one of these refreshing fruits which can milden symptoms and shorten the length of illness.



Immune Boosting Foods – Sip Some Soup


You cannot say that soup is not a comforting food for those cold winter days. The benefits of homemade hot soup are that you can easily produce a balanced meal with vegetables, protein and fluid which all help to put you on the road to recovery faster. The added benefit is that the steam from the soup can also to break up any congestion and soothe a sore throat.



Immune Boosting Foods – Tea Time!


There is nothing better than a hot cup of tea when you are feeling unwell (or any day of the year really!). Tea is full of natural antioxidants that can provide relief to congestion. Adding a teaspoon of honey or a squirt of lemon can add added benefit to soothe that throat and clear the nose! Ginger tea or green tea in particular can help make you feel better, and provide additional vitamins and minerals.



Immune Boosting Foods – Garlicy Goodness


Garlic compounds contain allicin, which have antimicrobial properties that can help support the immune system. The oligosaccharides or fermentable carbohydrates can help to promote a healthy microbiome an improve gut health. Some studies have even shown that those who consume garlic daily have less chance of catching a common cold overall. Luckily garlic is supper versatile (and yummy) and can easily be added to soups, stews, bolognaises, curries and salads (just to name a few).



Immune Boosting Foods – Eat the Meat (and other protein sources)


And again, yet ANOTHER reason to eat lots of protein! Red meat in particular such as beef and lamb contain lots of iron and zinc. Having low levels of iron and zinc can weaken the immune system, making us more susceptible to illnesses such as the common cold and flu. Zinc allows for normal development of immune cells to help the body fight off infections and illnesses and supports the production of white blood cells which heavily influence the immune systems defence mechanisms. Enjoy a lean cut of red meat two times per week to maintain iron and zinc levels. Protein in general helps to build and repair cells, which is vital when fighting illness.



Immune Boosting Foods – Fibre Fibre Fibre!


Legumes such as chickpeas, lentils, kidney beans, black beans and baked beans are all high in fibre. Fibre plays an important role in keeping your gut healthy. As your gut plays an important role in immunity this is especially important during flu season. Not only do greens such as lettuce, kale, rocket, broccoli, cabbage or spinach also contain fibre, the are rich sources of other vital vitamins which will help to boost your immune system when you are feeling unwell. Including 5 portions of vegetables daily is important to stay healthy and fight disease!



Immune Boosting Foods – In Summary


The foods mentioned above can help to decrease your chances of becoming sick and also reduce symptoms and the length of sickness. Including these where you can will positively affect your overall health. As always – staying hydrated is also key to maintaining health, especially in times of illness when you may sweat with a fever. Keep these in mind and keep yourself flu free this autumn/winter!!


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