Food & Dining

How To Beat The Winter And Cold Flu Season

  • Written by Niki Clark

Winter is coming… and forget the White Walkers, medics are preparing for one of the worst horror flu seasons ever recorded, which is expected to kill more than 4,000 people, according to experts.

Official data released by the Immunisation Coalition reveals more than 27,000 Australians have already caught flu this year – 10,000 in March alone – which is 6,827 more than this time last year.

Flu can be deadly and is especially dangerous for the very young and the elderly, and Joshua Gaudry, Food Scientist at Flannerys Organic & Wholefood Market, says it’s important to be prepared for the winter chills.

“It seems that at lower temperatures, our body produces less antiviral immune signals to fight off viruses entering through the airways,” he says. “Stock up on fruits and vegetables vitamin c and hearty food such as gut and immune-boosting bone broths.

“Ginger can also help with lowering inflammation and supporting illnesses. It helps with nausea, chronic pain, cholesterol and also full of really good vitamins that support the immune system.

Josh reveals his tips to avoiding colds and flu with winter warmers:

Start by being prepared and keeping warm Eat/drink

Bone Broths – not only delicious and good for our guts, bone broths have a wide array of immune system benefits too. In particular, the amino acids in chicken bone broth such as cysteine and glycine are building blocks for important immunomodulating factors in the body. Vitamin C and zinc are important immunity boosters. Citrus fruits, dark leafy greens, broccoli, kiwi fruit, bell peppers and capsicums are a good source of vitamin C and beta carotene. Zinc can be found in pepitas, seafood, cashew nuts and mung beans. Herbs such as Astragalus, Siberian ginseng and Reishi mushrooms have been found to boost immunity. Fusion Health Astra 8 contains all the herbs listed above and comes in tablet or liquid form. Fermented foods like kefir, kimchi or sauerkraut are great because they’re filled with lots of vitamins which help fight bacteria and inflammation. They’re also filled with antioxidants, so they’re a good way to get a lot of the good stuff into you as well. Fire Tonic – apple cider vinegar on steroids, fire tonic has an array of warming ingredients including cayenne pepper that’ll be sure to light your inner fire this winter. Golden Turmeric Milk – with a range of anti-inflammatory properties, and warming ingredients this is sure to warm you up. Herbal Teas: English Tea Shop and Pukka have a tea for just about everything. Cacao – Grab a bag of our cacao powder and you’re good to go for a delicious hot chocolate, just add hot water and your choice of sweetener.

Focus on improving gut health to boost immunity this winter by strengthening your immune system with probiotics. He says you can do this by:

Incorporating more probiotic rich foods into your diet can help to boost your immune system. Foods like sauerkraut, kefir and kombucha all help to colonise your gut, preferentially inhibiting pathogenic microbes from doing so. Supplementing your diet with a probiotic capsule can also really help. A good quality probiotic with a range of different strains seem to be ideal for general health and prevention of cold and flus.

If it’s too late and you’re already suffering with cold and flu symptoms such as a sore throat, sinus, head cold, congestion, chills, Josh’s advice is:

Increasing your vitamin C intake is the most tried and tested method for decreasing the duration and severity of colds. When choosing a vitamin C powder or tablet a good quality C should have bioflavonoids (the higher the better). These will be either rutin or hesperidin as these are cofactors essential for the absorption of vitamin C. They will usually contain zinc as well. Supplements with licorice root can help with coughs and sore throats due to its antispasmodic effect, meaning it can suppress that involuntary coughing we sometimes get. Lozenges with manuka honey can help as the manuka has an antibacterial properties. Once you feel the cold has started to take hold, it’s good to attack it head on. There are a few good supplements out there, such as Fusion Activiral, which attack a cold and flu from all angles, providing not only symptomatic relief but also the nutrients you need to fight off the infection.

“The most important thing is to take care of yourself,” adds Josh. “The best way to do this is:

Stay hydrated. Rest. Eat easily digestible foods such as soups, casseroles, stews and broths. Avoid sugar and mucous congestion promoting foods such as dairy. Come in store and speak with Flannerys Organic & Wholefood Market’s qualified naturopaths for all of your health and wellness advice and hot tips for this winter.

For more information and easy to follow recipes such as this immune-boosting tofu noodle soup, visit

About Flannerys Organic & Wholefood Market

Flannerys Organic & Wholefood Market offers a huge range of fresh, healthy and organic produce, including unpackaged bulk wholefoods, no added hormone organic and free-range meat, gluten-free products galore and plenty of healthy snacks. Pop in for free naturopathic advice, vegan-friendly and paraben-free cosmetics, plus all the regular health food supplies.

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