Winter is the peak time for colds and flu but there are some foods you can eat to help boost your immune system.
- Fruit and veg, you should try to aim for 5 a day, but remember this can be fresh, frozen, tinned or fresh and ideally try to eat what’s in season as this will be cheapest – carrots for example are currently 19p per bag and are great roasted, boiled, steamed, juiced or just eaten raw.
- Onions help protect against cold and flu viruses as they’re high in sulphur, which may help keep the immune system healthy. They are great added to a whole variety of foods, soups, curry, chilli or roasted along with other veg.
- Garlic is widely used as a natural cold and flu fighter and is thought to have antibiotic, antiviral and antifungal properties.
- Brazil nuts are rich in selenium, a mineral that helps support the immune system, as well as omega-6 fatty acids. They are a great source of protein and fibre.
- Oily fish provides omega-3 fatty acids, which may help with a number of winter problems, such as dry skin, joint aches and the winter blues. To help keep the costs down tinned oily fish like sardines in sunflower oil can be bought for as little as 46p.
- Water is a must during the cold weather to help keep you hydrated. However when it’s cold we all tend to drink less. Living in warm buildings can dry out mucous membranes making you more susceptible to catching a cold.