Eating for immunity
Traditional cold and flu foods
Winter is here and with it the bugs that lay us low. Now is the time to fuel the fires of your ever-vigilant immune system.
Comfort food is a one of winter’s compensations. For foods that boost our immunity, fill up on vegetables, especially green leafy veges, fruits, lean meats and good carbohydrates – especially wholegrains and kumara. Legumes are potent immunity food and ideal for slowcooked stew, casserole and curry. Load your dishes up with coriander, ginger, turmeric and garlic. Avoid refined sugar, it can impair the function of virus-killing white blood cells. In small amounts make honey and fruit your source of sweetness. When baking I use a natural sweetener called Stevia, available at health-stores.
Keep some dark (70-85% cacao) chocolate on hand just in case. It’s low on refined sugar and a healthier treat.
Our digestive tract is lined with antibody producing immune cells so keep them healthy with a live, probiotic-rich yoghurt. This is especially important after a course of antibiotics which strip out healthy gut flora.
Your caffeine kick isn’t worth the cost of a week’s cold or flu, cut back. You don’t have to go cold turkey, just ease back on caffeine and cut out sugary, caffeinated soft drinks.
Stress also impairs immunity. When you’re under pressure, don’t stress, take action; Stop, breathe and relax. Even a minute breathing deeply a day is a powerful preventive health measure.
This, combined with the worldwide wisdom of cold fighting cuisine below, should keep you fighting fit.