Healthy Eating

5 Foods To Fight Flu

  • Ginger
    Ginger is packed with essential vitamins, like B, C and E. The spice is a rich source of zinc, which is key to help your body in top condition. “Foods as close to their natural state as possible provide us with the best natural protection from invaders to the immune system such as flu viruses,” says Harley Street nutritionist Yvonne Bishop- Weston (optimum “Ginger has long been reputed to be a cold and flu remedy due to its antiviral and antibiotic properties and this is now being backed up by scientific studies.”
    Peal and thinly slice fresh ginger and steep in boiled water. If you need extra sweetness add a little honey.

  • Garlic
    Garlic is rich in key minerals, such as calcium, iron and selenium, as well as being a good source of vitamins B and C. “Garlic’s immunity-enhancing properties come mostly from its sulphurous allin, which is activated when crushed,” Yvonne tells us. “This is thought to help stimulate your white blood cells and your body’s immune response and help fight off colds and flu.” We’ll be adding garlic to our winter dishes this month!


    Cooking reduces the beneficial effects of garlic, but cooked may have stronger immuneboosting properties.

  • Chilli peppers
    Chilli peppers are bursting with vitamins B, E and K. “Although all chillies have health benefits, the red ones are the highest in vitamin C and carotenes,” Yvonne says. “Beta carotene is converted to vitamin A in your body and is needed for the protective mucous membranes which line your nose and lungs. If these membranes are damaged it’s easier for bacterial infections to take hold and worsen your flu symptoms. Chillies also contain capsaicin, which may help reduce the inflammation which can be a flu side-effect.”


    If you’re not a big fan of spicy food you can calm down the heat with a generous dollop of natural, low-fat yogurt.

  • Wholegrains
    Wholegrains provide vitamins, minerals and fibre, which can all aid energy, stress management, digestive health and your immune system. “Starchy carbs are often seen as the enemy if we want a lean, slim figure, but cutting them out can strip valuable nutrients from your diet. It is overeating refined white carbohydrates that leads to weight gain,” Yvonne explains. “Include a variety of grains, rather than just bread and pasta, and eat them with protein as it slows down digestion, which means you are more likely to burn the calories rather than store them as fat.”


    Try barley rather than wheat couscous and oat porridge instead of a wheat-based breakfast to keep you feeling in top condition.

  • Grapefruits
    Grapefruits are low in calories and highly detoxifying – great if you want to shift the lbs. “This fruit is full of vitamin C. Pink or red varieties also provide the antioxidant lycopene, for extra immune boosting,” says Yvonne. “Eat the whole fruit or blitz it into a smoothie for maximum nutrients; the pith and skin are where some of the most potent nutrients lie so include the white bits when you eat it.”
    Want to add a bit of tang to your recipes? Grate the zest of grapefruits into salads and rice TIP TIP dishes for extra flavour.


Health & Wellbeing