Adjust your child’s diet to avoid colds and flu

    cold and flu

    Nutritionist Louise Pyne reveals how a diet rich in certain vitamins can stop colds and flu in their tracks naturally

    As annoying as they are, colds are an inevitable part of the winter package. Certain foods, however, offer extra immunity benefits. These are rich in antioxidants like phytonutrients which support immunity by boosting the number of circulating white blood cells in the body. These immunity weapons act as powerful protection against potential bugs to slash sick days. However, since white blood cells have a short life span you’ll need to make sure that levels are constantly being replenished. Here’s how…

    Kiwi fruit
    Packing more vitamin C than oranges, kiwi fruit helps the body’s cells work optimally and studies show that increasing levels can reduce the length of time you are sick, too.

    Manuka honey
    This special type of the sweet stuff is crammed with antibacterial properties. Offer your child a teaspoon of honey if she’s got a cold coming on as a preventative measure.

    Sweet potato
    Orange foods are an excellent source of vitamin A, an essential nutrient for keeping the eyes, skin and immune system healthy. Why not mash the potato and top with grated cheese to use as a topping for shepherd’s pie?

    Greek yoghurt
    Fermented foods are rich in probiotics, beneficial bacteria that help to keep digestive systems healthy – and good immunity is linked to a well-functioning digestive system. Avoid flavoured yogurts as these are high in sugar, instead flavour natural yoghurt with pieces of fruit or honey.

    Cauliflower contains a substance called glutathione which seeks out any unwanted invaders and gets rid of them.

    Bananas are a good source of vitamin B6 which supports your child’s immune system by manufacturing antibodies and helping red blood cells carry oxygen around the body to speed up the healing process.

    Not only are eggs packed full of energy-boosting B vitamins, they are also a source of zinc. Zinc plays a role in wound healing and creates enzymes which helps to fend off bugs.

    Oily fish is known for its anti-inflammatory properties, thanks to the high omega 3 fatty acids. Make fishcakes by mashing together cooked salmon with potatoes and peas. Shape into patties, dip in beaten egg and breadcrumbs, and shallow fry.

    Spinach is a good source of iron, a mineral that transports oxygen around the body to fight infection. It also contains calcium which will nourish growing bones. Veggie sources of iron are more absorbable when paired with vitamin C, so eating spinach with red pepper will give a better boost than spinach alone.

    Onions are a prebiotic, boosting gut microbes so they function optimally. It also contains an antioxidant called quercetin which is known for its immunity-promoting powers.

    Win the cold war with these easy and helpful super strategies

    Wash hands
    The most common way to catch a cold is through touch. Carry an antibacterial hand santiser and make sure your kids wash their hands before every meal, too.

    Get plenty of rest
    Cells naturally replenish through rest, so the more snoozing time your child gets, the quicker she will recover. Enjoy downtime together doing puzzles or reading books.

    Change the bed sheets
    Bedding is a breeding ground for germs so if you sense a cold coming on, change the bed and air out the mattress to guard against bacteria.

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