Winter and the flu are unfortunately and generally synonymous. The cold sees us keeping cosy inside, taking the tram rather than walking to work and huddling together for warmth. What does this mean? Viruses are jumping from person to person much more easily and we catch a cold or flu at the drop of a hat.
How can we combat this and come through Winter unscathed? We believe that food is the answer. We’ve spoken previously about using food as medicine, and today we will be focussing on some key nutrients we should be including in our diet to support our immune systems.
Hit that Vitamin C
Well known as the go-to vitamin for warding off colds and flu, what is it about Vitamin C that helps us?
Vitamin C helps with a number of things including:
- Repairing and regenerating tissues (muscle, bones and blood vessels)
- Absorption of iron
- Combating free radicals
- Shortening the duration of colds and flu
Research has shown that it’s no good waiting for a cold or flu to strike and then take up Vitamin C, we need to be including it daily in our diet for it to have the desired shortening effect. Foods high in Vitamin C include oranges, red and orange capsicums, dark green vegetables (like kale, broccoli and Brussel sprouts ), guava, grapefruit and strawberries.
Try our roasted pumpkin & parmesan soup or our super green, broccoli, kale & leek soup.
Up your Zinc
Zinc is another one you’ve probably heard of as a remedy for colds and flu, but this mineral does so much more for our body, including helping with:
- Hormone production
- Muscle growth and repair
Like with Vitamin C, it is important that we include foods rich in zinc every day in order to tap into the benefits of increased immunity. However, research shows that by upping our zinc once we already feel off-colour can shorten the duration of our cold or flu. Foods rich in zinc include meat and poultry, chickpeas, cashews, mushrooms and yoghurt.
Try our beef & vegetable rendang with brown rice or organic yoghurt, cinnamon walnut crunch.
Protein for energy
When we are low in energy, our bodies can become much more susceptible to the common cold and the flu. It’s important we keep up with protein in order to boost our energy levels and keep ourselves in good health.
If you have become ill, it’s also important to keep up your protein to aid in your recovery. Your body will need the energy protein provides to facilitate the production of white blood cells to help fight the illness.
It turns out your mum was right about feeding you chicken soup when you had a cold! Aside from chicken, other good sources of protein are red meat, fish, eggs, chickpeas, pulses and nuts.
Try our scrambled eggs, Istra bacon, grilled tomato, six-grain sourdough toast with butter or teriyaki tofu & soba noodle salad.
Add both prebiotics and probiotics
Let’s start by quickly going over exactly what the difference is between a prebiotic and probiotic.
You’ve probably heard of probiotics, these are live bacteria in something like yoghurt, kefir and other fermented foods like sauerkraut and kimchi.
Prebiotics, however, are plant fibres that the bacteria already in your gut feed upon. So while our probiotics are introducing new bacteria, it’s the prebiotics that keeps them alive and healthy!
Foods that are rich in this plant fibre are usually best when eaten raw, they include bananas, garlic, onion, wheat bran, Jerusalem artichoke and asparagus.
Try our organic yoghurt, fruit compote or beef rendang & vegetable rendang with brown rice.
Chef Good has Winter nutrition covered
Don’t be overwhelmed! We know you’re not a nutritionist – so let us take care of you over the Winter months. Our chef designed and cooked meals have been created in consultation with nutritionists to ensure you are getting plenty of all these immune boosters in your diet.