Fight off colds this winter

Winter has well and truly arrived and, as usual, it has brought with it the dreaded winter cold. But there are natural ways to prevent colds this winter, which means you won't have to reach for the vitamin bottle.


"A lot of people believe vitamin and mineral tablets lead to better health and immunity but it's just not the case," said Diabetes Queensland dietitian Alison Bennett. "These tablets usually contain way more vitamins and minerals than you actually need and our bodies just dispose of the vitamins that it doesn't use, so your money just ends up down the toilet."


Alison suggests a natural approach instead. "You can ditch the pills this winter and easily get all the vitamins and minerals you need by eating loads of fresh healthy foods," she said.


"Important vitamins for preventing colds include vitamins A, C and D, iron and zinc. All of which are readily available in many of our favourite winter foods."


Vitamin A: carrots, sweet potato, pumpkin, spinach, broccoli, milk, cheese and eggs

Vitamin C: oranges, tomatoes, strawberries, raspberries, grapefruit and capsicum

Vitamin D: fortified margarine, salmon, herring, mackerel and eggs

Zinc: spinach, milk, cheese, yoghurt and lean meat



Stress and well being

Have you ever noticed you always seem to come down with a cold at the worst possible time? Like the morning of that big meeting or the day before your deadline?


Stress and lack of sleep can make our immune system sluggish, making us more susceptible to colds and flu. We pay less attention to what we feed our bodies when we are stressed, only worsening the problem.


"Getting a good night's sleep is just as important as eating well. It's also important to keep active to boost your immune system and help ensure a good night's sleep," Alison said.


"We need to take care of all aspects of our health if we want to beat colds and flu this winter."