The foods to eat this winter to avoid getting the flu

Nutritionist Susie Burrell (pictured)

Nutritionist Susie Burrell (pictured)

An Australian nutritionist has shared her foolproof ways of avoiding the flu this winter using a variety of delicious ingredients.

Susie Burrelwho has two honors degrees in nutrition and dietetics and psychology, said eating nutrient-rich food is of critical importance when it comes to staving off a cold.

‘Not only can giving the body the right vitamins and minerals help fend off illness, it can also reduce the severity of symptoms and as a result the length of time you are not at your best,’ she told FEMAIL.

‘Dehydration is surprisingly the most common reason bugs tend to stick around and continue to make you feel sick. Congestion, runny noses and a small intake of fluid can make headaches and fevers worse, prolonging the effects of a cold.

‘Even if you do not feel like it, if you are suffering from any cold like symptoms you need to increase your intake of fluids… 100% fruit or vegetable juices, herbal teas or plain water are all good choices.

‘Avoid cola and energy drinks completely as they can act as diuretics drawing fluid away from the body.’

Links have been drawn between a high Vitamin C intake and a reduction in cold-like symptoms for hundreds of years.

Unfortunately there is only a small amount of scientific evidence that proves that a high dose of Vitamin C can reduce the length of a cold once it is present.

Garlic has been used to treat bacteria, high blood pressure and infection for thousands of years and it is believed that the organosulfides (naturally occurring chemicals found in garlic and onions), along with Vitamin D help to stimulate the production of the immune cells, macrophages

Garlic has been used to treat bacteria, high blood pressure and infection for thousands of years and it is believed that the organosulfides (naturally occurring chemicals found in garlic and onions), along with Vitamin D help to stimulate the production of the immune cells, macrophages

Nevertheless, foods rich in Vitamin C including organs, kiwi fruit, berries, tomatoes and red capsicums are all antioxidant and vitamin rich foods which can only offer positive nutritional benefits in times of health or illness.

Fresh fruits and vegetables also have high water contents and help to aid hydration.

Soup is another power-food routinely linked to helping sick people get better quickly.

Soup has high water content but most importantly, chicken soup made using the actual chicken bones will contain some of the bone marrow.

Bone marrow is thought to have a number of powerful immune stimulating properties which is where the link between chicken soup and health originated hundreds of years ago.

‘Add plenty of vegetables in addition to the chicken stock made from bones and you will be on the right track. And, unfortunately no, the tinned varieties of soup do not count,’ she said.

Echinacea: One the most commonly recommended herbal remedies for colds and flu, the antiviral and antibacterial herb that originates from America actually has strong research that supports its use for reducing the likeliness and duration of the common cold

Echinacea: One the most commonly recommended herbal remedies for colds and flu, the antiviral and antibacterial herb that originates from America actually has strong research that supports its use for reducing the likeliness and duration of the common cold

Now eating well and increasing your intake of fluid can be considered pretty standard treatments to help the body fight infection but what about the myriad of supplements and herbal remedies out there?

As research findings grow, there are more and more proven natural remedies out there which are worth a try.

Probiotics

A link between probiotics, the natural bacteria found in the small intestine and immune health, has been known for some time.

Research published in The University of Medicine and Dentistry in New Jersey found probiotics helped reduce the duration of a cold as well as the severity of symptoms.

Probiotics can be found in some yoghurts and fermented drinks as well as in supplement form from the chemist.

Garlic

Garlic has been used to treat bacteria, high blood pressure and infection for thousands of years and it is believed that the organosulfides (naturally occurring chemicals found in garlic and onions), along with Vitamin D help to stimulate the production of the immune cells, macrophages .

Garlic can be taken as capsules or raw and get some sunlight each day if you can to enhance its potential benefits.

Olive leaf extract boasts both natural anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial benefits and contains double the antioxidant content than that of green tea

Olive leaf extract boasts both natural anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial benefits and contains double the antioxidant content than that of green tea

chicken soup

Chicken soup has been a favorite remedy for colds, flus, coughs and colds for hundreds of years, with many families owning a traditional soup recipe passed through the generations.

And it seems that our elders had it right as there is evidence to show that chicken soup with broth made using actual chicken bones may improve immune function.

Research published in the American Journal of Therapeutics found that a molecule found in chicken soup, carnosine, helped the body’s immune system to fight the early stages of flu by inhibiting the migration of infected cells around the body.

The ultimate vegetable soup recipe

Susie's delicious vegetable soup

Susie’s delicious vegetable soup

INGREDIENTS AND METHOD:

• 2 tsp olive oil

• 1 leek, thinly sliced

• 1 onion, finely chopped

• 2 cups salt reduced vegetable stock + 3 cups water

• 420g can chopped tomatoes

• 1 carrot, peeled and cut into 1cm cubes

• 500g pumpkin, cut into 1 cm cubes

• ½ chopped celery

• 1 steamed broccoli head

1) Heat the olive oil with onion in a large saucepan. Add the leek and gently cook over a low heat until soft, then add the stock, tomatoes, carrot and pumpkin.

2) Bring to the boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes.

3) Top with steamed broccoli and blend together.

Echinacea

One the most commonly recommended herbal remedies for colds and flu, the antiviral and antibacterial herb that originates from America actually has strong research that supports its use for reducing the likeliness and duration of the common cold.

The recommended dose is currently 3g per day.

Olive leaf extract

Olive leaf extract boasts both natural anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial benefits and contains double the antioxidant content than that of green tea.

While research supporting its use as a specific flu fighter is only in early cellular stages, it remains a powerful antioxidant supplement.

Medicinal mushrooms

This one may surprise you but Chinese and Japanese healers have used the powers of mushrooms for centuries to treat numerous ailments.

With shiitake, reishi and maitake mushrooms most frequently referred to, cooked varieties of these mushrooms are known to increase immune system activity.

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