Winter bringing on that runny nose?

It’s that time of year where the weather can be pretty cold and miserable, and bring along with it that runny nose and run down feeling.

Ensuring adequate nutrition and hydration is key to assist with the running of a healthy immune system, and can be just what you need to look at during this time of year to fight off that cold or flu.

Aiming to include foods from each of the five main food groups is important to ensure we are getting the range of nutrients we need each day. These food groups are;

  • Fruit
  • Vegetables
  • Grains (particularly wholegrains)
  • Dairy or alternatives
  • Meat or meat alternatives

Along with eating a variety of foods each day, there are certain foods and vitamins which play a key role for maintaining a healthy immune system.

Vitamin C is good for your immune system and research tells us that this can reduce the severity of a cold.

–          Fruit in particular is a great source of Vitamin C, with your citrus fruits being high in vitamin C, and are in season during Winter so are perfect to stock up on.

–          Other fruits including berries & kiwi fruit are also a great source of Vitamin C

–          Vegetables – certain vegetables often get missed when it comes to Vitamin C sources, however Tomatoes, broccoli and your different coloured capsicums also contain Vitamin C

Other nutrients which play a key role in boosting our immune system include; Vitamin E, zinc, iron, selenium, protein, unsaturated fats, and probiotics.

Therefore, including garlic & onions in your cooking, some yoghurt at some stage through your day, seafood, nuts and healthy fats from oils & avocado, can contribute to boosting your intake of these essential immunity nutrients.

Along with these foods we want to include each day, Fluids are an important part of the running of a healthy immune system.

Keeping up your fluids is a must for when you are under the weather or to assist with preventing that sickness coming on. Water is the best option, however other fluids can contribute to hydration as well. Herbal teas and small amounts of fresh citrus juice can get liquids into your system, and remember from our hydration blog earlier this year, if you are feeling thirsty then your body is already slightly dehydrated.

There is no single food that can provide protection from getting sick in winter, however ensuring we include a variety of foods throughout the day, and drink as much fluid as our body requires, can assist with maintaining a healthy immune system and hopefully improve resistance to that winter sickness.

If you are finding it difficult to find ways to include these key immune boosting nutrients into your day, or for any other enquires or questions, give us a call on 9431 4337 and one of our dietitian’s would be more then happy to assist you.