How to beat freshers’ flu: power up with food

The Ultimate Food Guide to Surviving First Year

Zsofia Borsi shares the secrets of beating freshers’ flu with the power of food. 

Freshers week has finally come to an end. Most of you started going to lectures, and it is very likely that some of you have already got ill. Surely, there is nothing more entertaining than a coughing competition in lectures organised through YikYak, but be aware; things might get a bit tough. Starting your proper university life with an ever-lasting cold is actually not that fun. Of course, how could you miss out on the amazing nightlife that Durham has to offer? Well, Klute or Jimmy’s will be worth all the paracetamol that you put into your body. And I don’t blame you, you’re probably doing the right thing in the long-run: the first year of university is about making friends, mistakes and enjoying your time to the fullest.

However, could you be doing anything else than sipping on Lemsip 0-24 hours to fight the cold?  You could. Eat right, for example.

Certain types of food and beverages have been scientifically proved to have an anti-inflammatory, immune-system-strengthening properties that could prevent a potential illness or at least, make the symptoms less unbearable. Common examples are lemon, ginger, garlic, turmeric or a hearty, warm chicken soup.

I suggest making these delicious and healthy meals when you are feeling a bit under the weather and can’t be bothered to spend more than 30 minutes in the kitchen. They are cheap, easy and vegan too. Give them a try.



Why to make it

Almost all of its ingredients contain vitamins that are truly essential for maintaining a strong immune system; potassium in bananas, iron in beetroot, vitamin C in apples. Cinnamon helps to release all your energy and has antiviral properties.

How to make it


  • 1 ripe banana
  • non-dairy milk (my favourite is oatmilk)
  • juice of 1 small beetroot
  • 1 teaspoon of peanut butter
  • a pinch of cinnamon
  • 1/2 red apple

Blend everything together. If it passes the taste test, pour the smoothie into a cereal bowl. Now it’s time for toppings – get creative! My recommendations are chia seeds, plain oats, mango chunks, dates and granola. So yummy!


smoothie bowl (source: @bakingawaytrouble)


Why to make it

There is just something very comforting about a curry on a cold day; hot, spicy food is the key to easing inflammation and pain. Ginger boosts your energy, soothes the symptoms of a sore throat and reduces nausea.

How to make it


  • 1 cup of plain rice
  • 1-2 teaspoons of olive oil
  • 2-3 teaspoons of curry powder
  • pinch of black pepper
  • pinch of garlic powder
  • pinch of chilli flakes
  • salt to taste
  • lemon zest of half a lemon
  • 3 small tomatoes
  • 1 large courgette
  • 1 large head of red onion
  • half a can of coconut milk
  • a small piece of ginger

In a large pan, heat up 2 cups of water. When it starts to boil, lower the heat and add the rice along with one teaspoon of olive oil and a pinch of salt. Cook them for about 20 minutes, depending on the type of rice you are using. Slice the courgette, onion and tomatoes. In a large frying pan, fry the onions in 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Add the curry powder, garlic, chili, pepper and salt. Add the rest of the vegetables, ginger, juice of lemon and coconut milk. Reduce the heat to medium and leave it to cook for about 15-20 minutes. Keep an eye on it and stir it in every 3-4 minutes. When it reaches a thick consistency, remove it from the heat. Serve it with rice or warmed up pita bread and prepare yourself for the burn!

see more on Zsofi's Instagram, @bakingawaytrouble

Green vegetarian curry (source: @bakingawaytrouble)

For more delicious recipes and inspiration check out Zsofia’s Instagram @bakingawaytrouble AND don’t forget to follow our official Instagram account @thebubble_food

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