The Fab Four

As we’ve had a bit of an Antarctic blast lately, I thought it would be a great time to discuss what you can eat to help keep the bugs at bay for you and your family over the cooler months. I present to you ‘the Fab Four’ - a few key nutrients that can lessen your chances of catching a cold or flu.

Vitamin C must be the first thing we all think of when we’re sick - plenty of fruit and vegetables! Your body doesn’t store vitamin C very well, which is why it is so important to eat your 5+ a day, each and every day. Including plenty of coloured fruit and vegetables in our diet is one of the best things you can do to prevent illness. These foods have antioxidants that are important for fighting infection.

Zinc is one of the most important nutrients for optimal immunity. To boost your zinc levels, you could increase your intake of lean meat, chicken and seafood and/or eat more healthy dairy products, eggs, nuts, seeds and leafy green vegetables.

Vitamin D is the sunshine vitamin. As the sun will be more scarce over the coming months, it pays to choose foods with vitamin D, such as dairy products or oily fish, like salmon and sardines. It may also pay to look into a vitamin D supplement.

Probiotics are important for our gut health. This plays a role in our overall health and immunity. Fermented foods like sauerkraut, kombucha and kefir can be good, but plain old natural yoghurt does the trick too!

So, when the shivers or sniffles start to arrive, I hope you’re reminded about ‘the Fab Four’ - giving health to your core and helping you do more!

Feel free to email me with dietitian-related questions or if there’s something you’d like to know more about at lauren@lovelocal.org.nz

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