If you are worried about getting sick this winter, you are not alone.
New research has revealed that many Australian parents are worried about their family as we head into the colder months.
According to a nationwide survey, people think they are more likely to suffer a cold this season because of a widespread lack of consideration for social distancing and hygiene guidelines and less exposure to people and sickness last year due to COVID-19 lockdowns.
Lower immunity due to high-stress levels and burnout was also a concern.
While the Hunter region remains on high alert for runny noses and fevers, boosting your immune system can be a key to preventing yourself from getting sick.
Aussies have been encouraged to increase their fruit and vegetable intake, exercise more and reduce stress levels.
Nutritionist and chef Teresa Cutter stressed the importance of offering delicious yet nourishing family meals that the whole family will eat.
“Loading up on foods with vitamin C is often the first line of defence during the cold and flu season, so for parents, it’s about finding ways to sneak in delicious and nutritious foods,” she said.
“Foods such as Zespri SunGold Kiwifruit contain 100% of your daily vitamin C needs in just one fruit.”
The health expert shared her top tips for including vitamin C in your diet:
- Fruit and veggie juices are an easy way to get your vitamin C fix as the nutrient is often destroyed in cooking
- Start your day with a vitamin C rich smoothie combining a mix of fresh fruit and veggies
- Food is most powerful when it’s closest to its original state, so don’t shy away from salads and fresh fruits in the colder months
- Keep the fruit bowl full over winter and serve your family fruit for dessert or as an easy snack to grab and go
Teresa aims to get as much variety onto the plate as possible.
“To achieve good variety in my diet, I make restorative smoothies, juices, and soups from fresh fruits, vegetables, quality protein and herbs,” she said.
“These provide me with a concentrated source of nutrients that the body can easily absorb.”
Zespri Innovation Specialist – Health and Nutrition, Dr Paul Blatchford echoed Teresa’s thoughts.
He believes people are aware of the importance of consuming fresh foods high in nutrients and vitamins, but adds it is vital to consume a variety of products within your daily diet.
“Boosting immunity is high on the list of priorities for Aussie families this winter, and it’s important to remember one of the easiest steps to fend off colds is by packing your diet with foods high in vitamin C,” he said.
“Food is one of the most powerful tools we have to help prevent disease, and a healthy body begins with a healthy immune system.
“It maintains homeostasis by defending against viruses and bacteria, which can cause inflammation in the body, illness and disease.”
– Allie Martinelli