Get the Edge for Winter - with Fruit & Veg
The winter chill is here and so too are the dreaded winter colds and ‘flu. So
how can you protect yourself against these uninvited bugs ?
What you eat and your lifestyle can either put you more at risk or help prevent
infection. Aloysa Hourigan, senior nutritionist from Nutrition Australia, gives
these top tips for arming your body’s natural defence systems to help ward off
the unwanted colds and ‘flu:
“Extra vegetables and fruit will give
your body more Vitamin C and other protective nutrients.
They help your absorption of iron and zinc – essential for
fighting infection. Some vegetables, such as garlic and some
fresh herbs, contain naturally-occurring antibiotic
substances that can give a further boost to your immune
Adding an extra serve of high vitamin C fruit each
day. Good choices include citrus fruits (oranges,
lemons, limes, mandarins, tangellos and grapefruit);
kiwi fruit; strawberries; pineapple; and rockmelon.
Including at least one or two vegetables with a good
content of Vitamin C e.g. the brassica family (
cabbage, Chinese cabbage, Brussels sprouts,
broccoli), tomatoes, capsicum, potatoes (unpeeled).
Including the age-old remedies and protectors
against colds and ‘flu – onions and garlic, in your
cooking, as well as lots of fresh leafy green herbs,
such as, parsley, well-recognized for its excellent
vitamin C content.
Letting your body stock up on its supply of iron and
zinc – both essential in your body’s fight against
those winter ‘flu. Best sources include red meat for
iron and shellfish (especially oysters) for zinc.
Including Vitamin C-rich foods at meals can help to
increase your body’s absorption of iron from food
It is also important to take note of
other aspects of your lifestyle and make sure you are:
Getting a good night’s sleep (6-8 hours is about
right for most adults)
Being active – try for some regular walking, cycling
or swimming or any other exercise you enjoy at least
3 times a week.
Making sure you leave some ‘total relax’ time so you
can help your health with the good mood hormones
So if you are aiming to escape the
‘flu this winter check out the Nutrition Australia website (www.nutritionaustralia.org
) for information, food ideas, and publications (see
website / “On the Bookshelf” and “Nutrition Week Kit”) .