Fight against the winter bugs! How you can get to optimal health by making smarter food choices

So why is nutrition important? Certain foods will help boost your immune system and some will hinder your immunity. In today’s society leading super market giants like Sainsbury’s, Asda, Morrisons and Tesco have a huge selection of food produce all under one roof. We as the consumer have total information overload due to the shear scale of choice and for this reason we don’t make the healthiest food choices.

Healthy eating

Healthy eating

I want to share with you which foods you should avoid and which foods you should buy to help your body overcome the winter bugs and colds that are spreading like wildfire! The immune system is the body’s first line of defence against germs, viruses and other invaders. These include: thymus gland, spleen, tonsils, adenoids, lymph nodes and blood cells.

What causes a low immune system?

  • Stress
  • Poor nutrition
  • Alcohol
  • Lack of sleep
  • Drugs
  • Antibiotics / penicillin (stip good bacteria from the intestine)
  • Poor personal hygiene

The body needs a wide selection of vitamins and minerals to get enough nutrients to reach optimal health.

If you’ve ever cut into an apple and left it you’ve seen oxidation at work. Oxidation is what causes a cut apple to turn brown. The oxygen attacks the apple and the ageing process rapidly begins.

Antioxidants are our cooling system (radiator) in our body. Our body needs a cooling system to keep the oxidative process under control. Antioxidants = body’s radiator cooling system. So we need to eat foods high in antioxidants to maintain good health. Fruit and vegetables that are dark in colour have high levels of antioxidants.

Did you know that skimping on fruits and vegetables doubles your chances of cancer!

It may be difficult to do this all the time but try to avoid these inflammatory foods:

Wheat/gluten, dairy, caffeine, alcohol, sugar. Also – the nightshade family tomatoes, aubergines and peppers.

Vitamin C

Vital for the immune system but easily washed from the body and needs to be replaced constantly.

Involved in iron absorption and in the syntheses of enzymes, hormones and proteins.

The adrenal glands need large amounts of this nutrient in order to support immunity and help produce energy.

Without vitamin C, the body cannot make collagen, the substance that holds the body’s cells together and maintains skin integrity.

Here are a few foods that are high in vitamin C :

  • Yellow peppers
  • Water cress
  • Cabbage
  • Broccoli
  • Spinach
  • Asparagus
  • Avocado
  • Beetroot
  • Limes
  • Blackberries
  • Blueberries
  • Grapefruit
  • Coca (chocolate in it’s purest form)

Recipe idea, simple!

Watercress & Asparagus Soup

Serves 4 – Ingredients

  • 900ml of vegetable stock (no salt option)
  • 1 small cauliflower – trimmed & roughly chopped
  • 350g asparagus spears – trimmed and chopped
  • 4 spring onions
  • 50g watercress, spinach, rocket
  • 25g fresh mint
  • Sea salt & freshly ground black pepper


  1. Put the cauliflower in a large pan and bring to the boil. Add the asparagus and spring onions, bring back to the boil and simmer for 3 minutes.
  2. Now take off the boil and stir in the watercress and mint until wilted. Blend the soup in blender or use hand blender and then re heat and season.
Watercress and asparagus soup






Watercress and asparagus soup

Watercress and asparagus soup



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Posted in Nutritional advice Sheffield, Personal Training Sheffield

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