Beat the chill! 10 foods you should be eating in winter

By Kirstin Buick
24 June 2016

An apple a day keeps the doctor away? Actually, there are some foods even better for keeping your immune system in tip top shape.

An apple a day keeps the doctor away? Actually, there are some foods even better for keeping your immune system in tip tip shape. 

These 10 foods rich in vitamin C are perfect for the job

Vitamin C or ascorbic acid is water-soluble and is essential for the normal functioning of your body. Humans can’t produce

vitamin C so they must eat foods that are a rich source of this vitamin.

Read more: The winter vitamin debate: does my child really need supplements?

Apart from acting as an antioxidant, vitamin C builds your immune system so that you’re protected against diseases such as flu and colds, helps to fight infections and protects your lung function.

vitamin c - Copy vitamin c  

These foods also boost the immune system

Onions and garlic They’re rich in antioxidants and also help to fight infections.

Butternut and pumpkin They contain the antioxidant betacarotene. It gives veggies their orange colour and builds immunity.

Fish, liver and nuts They’re rich in the mineral selenium. It functions as an antioxidant and helps to speed up your metabolism.

Spinach It’s rich in antioxidants which not only strengthen your immune system but also protect the retinas in your eyes against harmful light. Green and rooibos tea Rich in antioxidants, amino acids and minerals. Read more: Why you need to be selfish when you’re sick

More immune builders

1 Eat at least 5 to 7 servings of fruit and vegetables daily.

2 Retain the nutrients in vegetables by not soaking them in water. Instead of boiling them in a pot of water, steam them using as little liquid as possible.

3 Exercise for 45 minutes a day. This could reduce your risk of catching a cold or flu by up to a third.

4 Sleep 7 to 8 hours a night. Try to stick to a routine at least during the week, going to bed and getting up at the same time.

5 Add veggies to dishes. They go well mixed in with scrambled eggs, rice and pasta.

Sources: Irene Labuschagne, principal dietician at NICUS (Nutrition Information Centre, University Of Stellenbosch),

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