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MAIN­TAIN­ING A healthy diet and ex­er­cis­ing reg­u­larly helps to ward off snif­fles and sneezes. Sea­sonal fruit, such as man­darins, or­anges and lemons, are good sources of vi­ta­mins and min­er­als to help the im­mune sys­tem do its job well.

Here are some quick tips on how sea­sonal pro­duce can aid in boost­ing im­mu­nity, while adding a burst of colour to meals.

MAN­DARINS: Two man­darins pro­vide you with 180 per cent of your daily vi­ta­min C re­quire­ments.

For a healthy work­day lunch, gen­tly toss to­gether man­darin seg­ments, salad greens, chopped spring onion, sliced cap­sicum and shred­ded chicken. Fin­ish with a home­made dress­ing. Salsa is an­other great way to add a sweet, tangy flavour burst to meals. Peel and dice man­darin seg­ments and mix with finely chopped red onion, a squeeze of fresh le­mon juice, olive oil and chopped co­rian­der. For ex­tra heat, add chilli. Mix gen­tly and serve with grilled chicken breast or with tacos. LEMONS: A good source of vi­ta­min C, this tangy fruit has many uses in the kitchen. From baking to perk­ing up sal­ads and mari­nades, the zesty taste of le­mon quickly bright­ens up dishes.

For a fresh slaw, toss finely sliced fen­nel and chopped wal­nuts. As a dress­ing, squeeze over fresh le­mon juice, red wine vine­gar and olive oil.

OR­ANGES: Juicy, thirst-quench­ing or­anges are a favourite in many house­holds. They have many health ben­e­fits in­clud­ing be­ing a good source of vi­ta­min C. The juice, zest and fruit can be used in sweet and savoury dishes.

For a Moroc­can-in­spired lunch, com­bine cooked cous­cous with cooked shred­ded chicken, fresh mint, chopped pis­ta­chios, and one peeled, chopped or­ange. Or gen­tly com­bine peeled and thinly sliced or­anges to sliced red onion, feta cheese and olives for a colour­ful salad. Sprin­kle over finely chopped fresh mint or co­rian­der and fin­ish with a home­made vinai­grette. If you fancy a sweet, zesty bev­er­age, mix freshly squeezed or­ange juice with your favourite herbal tea.

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