Flu prevention diet: Goldie Hawn’s nutritionist says eat THESE foods to boost immunity

With the Aussie flu on its way to the UK, now is the time to boost your immune system in preparation.

Building up immunity is a key way for the body to defend itself against infection and illness.

This can be done by wrapping up warm and ensuring you stay hydrated.

However, one expert is warning people to not forget the power of a nutritious diet in helping protect yourself against a virus this winter.

“There are lots of things that we can do to help raise our mood and immunity at this time of year, and our diet can act as our ally,” explained Akcelina Cvijetic, a Harley Street wellbeing specialist and qualified nutritionist whose celebrity clients include the actress Goldie Hawn (akcelina.com). 

“One method is to get our body to produce more serotonin.”

This is an important ‘feel good’ hormone that can drop in the winter when there’s less light.

However, low levels have been linked to increased carbohydrate and sweets cravings, higher pain sensitivity, low mood, less restful sleep and increased inflammation.

“It is no wonder why we may find it hard to shift a cold during these months,” said Cvijetic.

Boosting levels of serotonin is important for our immunity.

“Eat foods rich in tryptophan - a pre-cursor of serotonin - such as turkey, beans, whey protein, cottage cheese, avocado and bananas.”

She also advised ensuring you get enough essential fatty acids in your diet at this time of year to help your brain run properly.

“Feed your mind with omega-3 rich oily fish, chia and flax seeds,” she said.

Shiitake mushrooms, garlic, onions, goji berries, kiwi, pomegranate and ginger can similarly directly assist immunity.

Staying warm is also key, and Cvijetic suggested using food as a tool for keeping up your body temperature.

“Beginning the day with poached eggs, salmon and asparagus. and eating soups with root vegetables, meat and warming spices - such as turmeric, chilli and cayenne pepper - are an ideal way to warm up and boost immunity,” she explained.

Indeed, turmeric in particular has been found by research to help strengthen the immune system.

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