Eating the right diet can make all the difference in warding off those winter bugs. The immune’s system prime function is to protect the body against infection so supporting it as best as you can help to reduce susceptibility to colds and flu.
Top Tips to Boost your Immune System
Try to include plenty of vitamin C rich foods, such as peppers, tangerines, broccoli and parsley. Green leafy vegetables made into soups and sauces are a good idea for all the family too.
Include zinc rich foods such as beef, turkey, egg yolk, pumpkin and sesame seeds. Try dry roasting seeds in a little soya sauce as a healthy snack.
Vitamin D is important in the winter months too so include oily fish, fortified yoghurts and eggs. Make to most of any sunshine too!
Ensure you are getting enough protein. Good sources include fish, meat, eggs, nuts, seeds, beans and yoghurt.
Keep sugary snacks to a minimum as they reduce your immunity.
The best vitamin D source is from sensible exposure to sunlight, which is why it is often called ‘the sunshine vitamin’ although this is difficult at certain times of the year and for certain high risk groups. During the winter we use our body’s stores and what is available from our diet.
However, dietary vitamin D makes a relatively small contribution to overall vitamin D status as it is not present in high quantities in many foods. So even a good balanced diet can mean it is difficult to get all the vitamin D you need.
It is found in small amounts in:
Oily fish (e.g salmon, sardines, herring, mackerel and fresh tuna) – no more than 2 portions a week in pregnancy
Eggs (ensure fully cooked)
Fortified foods such as breakfast cereals and some spreads and yogurts
Supplementation of vitamin D is recommended to all pregnant ladies at 400 units (10mcg) per day. Higher levels of supplementation are recommended if a deficiency is identified and a GP can recommend the appropriate l...