Winter is here and with that comes the common cold.
While the spreading of germs is sometimes inevitable, boosting your immunity will give you a fighting chance at staying healthy.
The best way to achieve this is through your diet, ensuring you eat foods that are rich in Vitamin C.
“Vitamin C is an essential nutrient which is important for immunity, growth and development,” Nutritionist Kathleen Alleaume. “This vitamin increases antibody activity and resistance to infections, which can help keep your immune system in good shape.
“What’s more, teamed with iron-rich foods such as red meat, fish or legumes can enhance the absorption of iron - vital mineral also known to play a role in strengthening the immune system by increasing resistance to infection.
“Vitamin C can be found in so many food groups, including pantry staples such as onions, sweet potato and citrus fruits.”
Here are Kathleen’s top 5 foods to boost your immunity:
An unsung health hero, just 100 grams of onion provide 15-20 per cent of an adult or child’s recommended daily intake of vitamin C. The pantry staple can easily be ‘snuck’ into your family’s favourite meals, making them the perfect choice for boosting immunity this autumn.
Not only are they delicious, but this tropical fruit is a rich source of Vitamin C and beta-carotene. One serve of papaya or papaw (150 grams) contains double the recommended daily intake of vitamin C for an adult. There are plenty of ways to enjoy papaya this season. Plus they are an easy fruit to puree for the little ones.
In season over autumn and winter, custard apples are a great source of vitamin C, with one serve (150 grams) delivering 161% of an adult’s daily intake. Custard apples have a low glycaemic index (GI) which keeps you fuller for longer, staving off mid-morning munchies.
A readily available, inexpensive and delicious vegetable. One serve of sweet potato (150 grams) provides more than 90 per cent of an adult’s daily vitamin C requirements. Skip the tuckshop and treat the family to some home-made sweet potato fries this weekend.
Fruits such as oranges, blood oranges, mandarins, grapefruit, lemons and limes are a wonderful source of vitamin C. As a snack, in a salad or used in dressings - there are so many ways to incorporate citrus fruits into the family feeds.