Immune boosting


Winter warmers to stare down the chills

With the cold weather upon us, we tend to turn to foods that warm us. It is also a good time to include foods that boost your immunity and keep those colds and flus at bay.

Below are some tips from the Dietitians at Connect Health and Community to help build your immunity.

Make a date with porridge

A healthy, slow-release breakfast is a great way to start your day and keep you full of energy until lunch time. Warming oats are great start your morning and taste even better when topped with nuts, seeds, Greek yoghurt or seasonal winter fruit like apples, bananas and pears.

Go for vitamin C

Did you know that bright orange/red-coloured food like sweet potatoes, tomatoes, red capsicums and citrus are high in vitamin C? Add them to your winter meals and they can help your immune system and energy levels.

Build with zinc

Also vital to help our immune system fight viruses and the flu, is zinc. Give your immune system a regular zinc boost with foods like lean red meat, chicken and oysters.

Be iron, man

Iron supports the immune system too, so try eating foods like red meats, lentils and green, leafy vegetables.


Magnesium is an essential mineral that helps our bodies maintain regular muscle and nerve function, helps with immunity and promotes good bone health. (What a star!)

The best sources of magnesium are pumpkin seeds, cashews, spinach and buckwheat. Even dark chocolate can be a good source with 30g (approx 4 squares) providing you with 68mg of magnesium.

Oily fish

Oily fish such as salmon and tuna are high in omega 3 fatty acids, which are essential for a healthy immune system. Bony fish like sardines and tuna also contain calcium, which is important for your bone strength. Aim to have fish twice a week to get a healthy dose of omega 3s.

Easy as B12

Fish such as salmon and cod, as well as milk, eggs and cheese are all great sources of vitamin B12 which also helps the immune system. And bonus, B12 also helps reduce in tiredness and fatigue. B12 is only found in animal products so if you are following a vegan diet you may need to ask your GP about a supplement.

Go nuts

Nuts can be a fantastic snack and are full of essential healthy fats and protein as well as being a source of Vitamin E. A small handful of unsalted nuts can be a great afternoon snack.


So with winter weather less appealing outside, it’s perfect for staying indoors and cooking up a healthy storm. Bon appetite!

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