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Cold and flu bug busters

The cool drop in temperature and Melbourne's temperamental weather means more time indoors which increases the risk of passing germs to others and catching a cold or the flu.

Before you panic, it’s never too late to start prepping yourself. Adopt a few of the following tips into your everyday lifestyle that will help boost your immune system, regardless of the weather.

 

1. Pump up the protein

Your grandmother knew best when she made you those hearty chicken soups when you weren’t feeling well. Research shows that protein from our food offers a natural boost and support for our immune system against viruses and bacteria.

The protein component in food such as chicken, fish, red meat, beans and legumes, nuts and soya products keeps us healthy and also fuller for longer, a bonus when you are trying to watch your weight in winter.

Dietitian’s tips:

  • Make sure you have some source of protein at every meal.
  • Poached eggs on toast for breakfast.
  • Add beans and legumes into stews and soups.

2. Make friends with herbs and spices

Herbs and spices are the key to a more vibrant life as they offer many immune boosting benefits due to their high antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial and anti-bacterial properties.

Herbs and spices add more flavour and depth to food as well as helping you to reduce the use of salt in cooking, your heart will thank you for this!

Dietitian’s tips:

  • Add oregano, basil, thyme onto you winter roasted vegetables.
  • Garlic and ginger to your stir-fries will boost your immune system.
  • Add turmeric, cumin, paprika to winter soups and stews.
  • 1-2tsp of cinnamon onto yoghurts, morning mueslis or breakfast muffins.

 

3. Have your good fats

Unhealthy fats found in processed foods are linked to inflammation in the body and obesity, which contributes to a compromised immune system. Having healthy fat as part of a healthy diet, on the other hand, can reduce inflammation.

Our bodies are very smart, in winter it naturally stores more fat to keep us warm. It does so by making you crave foods that are higher in fat, so make sure you don't fall into this trap by nourishing your body with healthy fats. A balanced healthy fat intake during winter will keep the cold out as well as giving you more radiant and moisturized skin.

Dietitian’s tips:

  • Eat good fats and oils at each meal or for snacks. Good examples are nuts, extra virgin olive oil, oily fish and avocado.

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