With the cold weather upon us, osteopath and lecturer at the British College of Osteopathic Medicine (BCOM), Poonam Shah offers advice on staying healthy during the winter months:
- Vitamin C is very important to fight the common cold and flu this winter, as is zinc. They are both important for immune functioning. Many people have a low intake of vitamin C, but many more have a low intake of zinc, particularly women and children.
- Zinc can be found predominantly in lean red meat and seafood, and smaller amounts in wholegrain bread, nuts and fortified breakfast cereals, which are readily available.
Zinc is involved in the development and functioning of the body's infection-fighting white blood cells which in turn boosts the immune system.
- Bright fruits and vegetables are not just pleasing to look at, but are extremely nutritious too. Foods like beetroot, sweet potato, broccoli, oranges, red pepper and pumpkin are easy to utilise as they can be juiced, thrown into stir-fries or served with warming casseroles and soups.
- Last but not least, dehydration is the reason why many of our conditions exist. If you find that you are drinking much less water in winter, switch to green tea, which is packed with antioxidants and has also been shown to increase metabolic rate if three or more cups are consumed every day.
Top 10 winter foods
- Broccoli - high in antioxidants
- Carrots - full of the antioxidant beta carotene
- Red pepper - high vitamin C
- Kiwi fruit - just one contains your entire daily requirement of vitamin C
- Oranges - just one contains your entire daily requirement of vitamin C
- Green tea - powerful antioxidant
- Mushrooms - rich source of antioxidants
- Oysters - exceptionally high in zinc and iodine
- Berries - packed with antioxidants