1. Vitamin C
Vitamin C is well known for its cold reducing effects. Studies show that while an increased intake of Vitamin C will not prevent you from getting a cold, it can certainly reduce the severity and duration. Whole food sources of vitamin C is a good idea, as too much vitamin C can have some adverse side effects.
Foods high in Vitamin C include, oranges and citrus foods, red capsicum, kiwi fruit and green leafy veg.
Zinc is a mineral that’s essential for good health, it has many vital roles in your body such as immune function, growth and development, wound healing, protein and DNA synthesis to name a few.
Because your body doesn’t naturally produce zinc, you must obtain it through food or supplements. Luckily zinc is found in a wide variety of foods. Some foods are also fortified with zinc such as breakfast cereals and flour.
Foods high in zinc are oysters, beef, lamb, with vegetarian options including lentils, beans and chickpeas, nuts and seeds.
3. Healthy Bacteria
Gut bacteria is involved in multiple systems in the body, including metabolism, the immune system and brain function to name a few. Many factors impact our gut health including, low vegetable intake, lack of variety, and a diet high in refined carbohydrates, sugar and trans fats.
Foods to include to increase your healthy gut bacteria include yoghurt, fermented foods like yoghurt, kefir, kombucha, sauerkraut and kimchi. Including a daily probiotic is another way to increase your healthy gut bugs.
The cooler weather means we are less likely to be sipping our drink bottles. It’s important to stay hydrated (especially if we are suffering with a cold or flu).
Other than keeping your water bottle topped up, herbal tea, milk (or warm milk), vegetable soups and broths are all great ways to keep hydrated.
5. Keep Moving
Feel like pulling up the doona over that spin class? It’s important to keep moving even when it’s cold outside. Winter not only brings the cold, it can also bring illness and the Winter blues. Moving regularly helps strengthen your immune system so it can fight off those nasty bugs.
Daily movement will also help ward off the Winter blues, by releasing the feel good hormones serotonin and dopamine which help reduce anxiety and depression.
Aim for at least 30 minutes of movement per day to get the most benefit.
So load up that trolly up and lace up those sneakers for ALL the immune boosting benefits, that not only help with the common cold, but disease prevention and healthy living!