Still suffering from the dreaded freshers flu? Or have you finally succumbed to the constant onslaught of germs and illness flooding the Durham student population?
I have put together a handy, student friendly list of foods to help you fight the flu and promote your immune system.
1. Garlic and Onion
According to nutritionist Kerry Torrens, the family that garlic and onion belong to contain certain oils that help protect against infections from bacteria and viruses. The best part is these are easy to slip into a normal dinner with very little hassle or the need for special recipes.
2. Vitamin C
Oranges are well known as a food that should be eaten to help prevent a cold, as well as when you are suffering, because of their high levels of vitamin C. Other good sources of vitamin C include broccoli, peas, tomatoes, kiwis and bell peppers.
3. Sweet Potato
The good news is that the beloved sweet potato fry may actually be helping you recover from your cold. It contains vitamin A which helps keep your mucosal surfaces healthy. The healthier they are, the more likely that they will be able to keep infection out.
Turmeric has been dubbed a ‘superfood’, based around the properties of curcumin, which it contains. It is a powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory, among other things; which is why some experts recommend having a teaspoon of it everyday, to maintain long term health. If you don’t fancy just swallowing a teaspoon, you can buy turmeric capsules, or simply add it as a spice to your regular dinner.
As if we needed any encouragement as a nation to drink more tea, there has been research to suggest that it has cold and flu fighting properties. It contains the anti-oxidant group catechin, which a Japanese study found to reduce the chances of getting the flu by 75%, compared to a placebo group. You can read more about the whole study here.
Ginger is good for a sore throat, and contains sesquiterpenes which target the rhinoviruses (the most common cold virus). You can mix it with hot water, turmeric and honey to make a ‘tea’ that will soothe your sore throat as well as any shop bought remedy.
The benefits of this homemade remedy aren’t just an old wives tale. Chicken soup provides the fluids you need when you’re ill, as well containing vegetables which provide vitamins. There is also evidence to suggest that the chicken helps reduces inflammation and symptoms.
There are so many foods out there with health benefits, that if you don’t like any of the ones on this list, a quick internet search will reveal some that you will undoubtedly be able to incorporate into your diet.
Get well soon!