One such natural remedy to help combat the common cold is to include a wide range of colourful fruits and vegetables in your diet everyday. Remember the old “go for 2 and 5” message? Fruits and vegetables have vitamins such as vitamin C as well as antioxidants which can help maintain a healthy immune system. So what is a serve of fruit and veg?
One serve of fruit = 150g or 1 medium piece (apple, pear, banana, orange) or 2 small pieces (plum, apricots, kiwi fruit) or 1 cup of tinned/canned fruit.
One serve of vegetables = 1/2 cup of cooked veg (broccoli, carrot, cauliflower, beans, corn, peas) or 1 cup salad vegetables (tomato, lettuce, capsicum, cucumber, red onion, baby spinach)
As a general rule with my clients I encourage them to choose at least 3 different coloured vegetables at each meal to ensure they are getting a variety of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.
Another nutrient that's important for a healthy immune system is zinc. Zinc is found in lean red meats, some nuts and seeds and some fortified breakfast cereals. Make sure you get adequate zinc from food sources as zinc supplements tend to limit the absorption of other minerals (such as copper). It may not be a glamourous quick fix solution, however, making sure you diet is well balanced and varied should be your first priority rather than taking a supplement.
For assistance with a healthy diet, look no further than an Accredited Practising Dietitian (APD). You can find an APD by logging onto: www.daa.asn.au
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