How to win the cold war

    Boosting your immunity isn't just about taking extra vitamin C. It certainly pays to eat lots of fruit and veg that are packed with it, but there are many more foods you can eat to keep yourself fit over the winter months.

    Chicken soup

    Our eating plan has been designed to ensure that you eat all the nutrients you need to get your immune system in tip-top shape. We've included immune-boosters from the most important nutrient groups - from those we've all heard of, such as vitamins and minerals, to ones you might not know much about, such as phenols (found in grapes).

    Many of these substances are contained in the plants' own natural defences, so when you eat those fruits, vegetables and herbs, those same compounds strengthen your immunity.

    Fruit saladTry to eat every day

    • Fruits...
      Apples, grapes, oranges, tomatoes and seasonal berries, such as blackberries, blueberries and strawberries.
    • Vegetables...
      Garlic, lettuce (vary types, to take advantage of the widest variety of different nutrients, and so you don't get bored), red or green peppers, spinach and watercress.
    • Other...
      Olive oil and wholegrains, such as wholemeal bread.

    Try to eat 2-3 times a week

    • Fruits...
      Avocados, bananas, blueberries, kiwi fruits.
    • Vegetables...
      Alfalfa or bean sprouts, broccoli, carrots, kale, onions, parsley, potatoes.
    • Other...
      Chicken (skinless reduces the fat content), eggs, fish, flaxseed oil, linseeds, milk (one study shows that organic milk has higher levels of vitamin E, omega-3 essential fatty acids and anti-oxidants than conventional), oats, raisins, red wine, rice, soya, tea, yogurt (products containing beneficial bacteria will help to keep your gut healthy).

    Quinoa saladTry to eat once a week

    • Fruits...
      Grapefruit, lemon, limes (try grating unwaxed lemon or lime zest onto salads
    • Vegetables...
      Cabbage, cauliflower, celery, chilli peppers, leeks, okra, peas, shiitake mushrooms, sweetcorn, sweet potatoes
    • Other...
      Almonds, Brazil nuts, chocolate, green tea, lentils, quinoa (the most nutritious of all)

    Try to eat at least once a month

    • Fruits...
      Apricots, melon, papaya, pears, pineapples
    • Vegetables...
      Aubergines, beetroot, pumpkin or squash
    • Other...
      Chicken livers, chickpeas

    Sweet potato curryEat seasonally

    • Raisins - A great snack. Choose organic to avoid preservatives
    • Sweet potato - Try them baked
    • Dried apricots - Great for lunchboxes and very filling
    • Oranges and satsumas - Tuck into lunchboxes or cut into segments
    • Sesame seeds - Sprinkle into stir-fries, salads or over cereal


    Comments, questions and tips

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    8th Jan, 2016
    Great news, have been hearing much about this lately. Eating healthy is so improtant to overall good health and well-being. I really have had great results with the healthy recipes from the metabolic cooking program, have a review on my blog:
    13th Oct, 2015
    This is the recipe shown in the lead article photo:
    20th Nov, 2014
    This article is really unsatisfying - you've got a big picture of what looks like an excellent soup at the top of the page, and then... nothing, no recipe, no hint as to what it was. That's such a missed opportunity! This whole page should've been full of links to recipes that make use of the ingredients you mentioned. For example, the soup recipe should be one click away. The list of "eat seasonally" should've linked to a search for each of the items. It's really disappointing to find a page like this and for there to be just a few links to recipes.
    15th Oct, 2015
    I agree that this article would benefit greatly from some links to recipes, especially well thought out choices which combine a number of the suggested ingredients in one meal. Also I find the list of food we are advised to eat seasonally a little puzzling as most of these are not seasonal. For example, dried fruits like apricots and raisins are by their very nature designed to outlive the seasons. Seeds are not seasonal because of their comparatively long shelf life.
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