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The foods to eat this winter to avoid getting the flu

Nutritionist Susie Burrell (pictured)

Nutritionist Susie Burrell (pictured)

An Australian nutritionist has shared her surefire ways to avoid the flu this winter using a variety of delicious ingredients.

Susie Burrellwho holds two degrees in nutrition and dietetics and psychology, said eating foods rich in nutrients is critical when it comes to preventing the common cold.

“Not only can the body provide the right vitamins and minerals to ward off disease, it can also reduce the severity of symptoms and, as a result, the time you’re not at your best,” she told FEMAIL.

“Dehydration is surprisingly the most common reason insects tend to linger and keep making you sick. Congestion, runny noses and low fluid intake can aggravate headaches and fever, making the effects of the common cold last longer.

“Even if you don’t feel like it, if you’re experiencing cold symptoms, you need to increase your fluid intake… 100% fruit or vegetable juices, herbal teas, or plain water are all good choices.

“Avoid Coke and energy drinks completely, as they can act as diuretics that draw fluid from the body.”

Links have been made between a high vitamin C intake and a reduction in cold symptoms for hundreds of years.

Unfortunately, there is only a small amount of scientific evidence showing that a high dose of vitamin C can reduce the duration of a cold once it is present.

Garlic has been used for thousands of years to treat bacteria, high blood pressure and infections and its organosulfides (naturally occurring chemicals found in garlic and onions), along with vitamin D, are believed to help stimulate the production of the immune cells, helping macrophages.

Garlic has been used for thousands of years to treat bacteria, high blood pressure and infections and its organosulfides (naturally occurring chemicals found in garlic and onions), along with vitamin D, are believed to help stimulate the production of the immune cells, helping macrophages.

Nevertheless, foods rich in vitamin C, including organs, kiwi, berries, tomatoes, and red peppers, are all antioxidants and vitamin-rich foods that can only provide positive nutritional benefits during times of health or illness.

Fresh fruits and vegetables also have a high water content and help promote hydration.

Soup is another powerful food routinely used to help sick people get well quickly.

Soup has a high water content, but most importantly, chicken soup made with the real chicken bones contains some of the bone marrow.

Bone marrow is thought to have a number of potent immune-stimulating properties, making the link between chicken soup and health hundreds of years ago.

‘In addition to the chicken stock from bones, add lots of vegetables and you’re on the right track. And unfortunately no, canned soups don’t count,’ she says.

Echinacea: One of the most recommended herbal remedies for colds and flu, the antiviral and antibacterial herb native to America, in fact, has strong research supporting its use for reducing the likelihood and duration of colds

Echinacea: One of the most recommended herbal remedies for colds and flu, the antiviral and antibacterial herb native to America, in fact, has strong research supporting its use for reducing the likelihood and duration of colds

Now, eating right and increasing your fluid intake may be considered pretty standard treatments to help the body fight infection, but what about the myriad of supplements and herbal remedies out there?

As research results grow, there are more and more proven natural remedies worth trying.

Probiotics

A link between probiotics, the natural bacteria found in the small intestine, and immune system health, has been known for some time.

Research published in The University of Medicine and Dentistry in New Jersey found that probiotics helped reduce the duration of a cold and the severity of symptoms.

Probiotics can be found in some yogurts and fermented drinks, as well as in drugstore supplement form.

Garlic

Garlic has been used for thousands of years to treat bacteria, high blood pressure and infections and its organosulfides (naturally occurring chemicals found in garlic and onions), along with vitamin D, are believed to help stimulate the production of the immune cells, macrophages.

Garlic can be taken as capsules or raw and given some sunlight each day to increase its potential benefits.

Olive leaf extract has both natural anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial benefits and contains twice the antioxidant content of green tea

Olive leaf extract has both natural anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial benefits and contains twice the antioxidant content of green tea

Chicken soup

Chicken soup has been a favorite remedy for colds, flu, coughs and colds for hundreds of years, and many families have a traditional soup recipe that has been passed down from generation to generation.

And it seems our elders were right, as there is some evidence that chicken broth soup made with real chicken bones can improve immune function.

Research published in the American Journal of Therapeutics found that carnosine, a molecule in chicken soup, helped the body’s immune system fight the early stages of the flu by inhibiting the migration of infected cells throughout the body.

The ultimate vegetable soup recipe

Susie's delicious vegetable soup

Susie’s delicious vegetable soup

INGREDIENTS AND METHOD:

• 2 tsp olive oil

• 1 leek, thinly sliced

• 1 onion, finely chopped

• 2 cups low-salt vegetable stock + 3 cups water

• 420 g can of peeled tomatoes

• 1 carrot, peeled and cut into 1 cm cubes

• 500 g pumpkin, cut into 1 cm cubes

• ½ celery chopped

• 1 steamed broccoli head

1) Heat the olive oil and onion in a large pan. Add the leek and cook over low heat until soft, then add the stock, tomatoes, carrot and pumpkin.

2) Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes.

3) Top with steamed broccoli and mix together.

echinacea

In fact, one of the most recommended herbal remedies for colds and flu, the antiviral and antibacterial herb that comes from America has strong research backing its use to reduce the chance and duration of colds.

The recommended dose is currently 3g per day.

Olive leaf extract

Olive leaf extract has both natural anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial benefits and contains double the antioxidant content of green tea.

While research supporting its use as a specific flu fighter is still in the early cellular stages, it remains a potent antioxidant supplement.

Medicinal mushrooms

This one may surprise you, but Chinese and Japanese healers have been using the power of mushrooms to treat numerous ailments for centuries.

With shiitake, reishi and maitake mushrooms most often mentioned, cooked varieties of these mushrooms are known to increase immune system activity.

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