Keeping Well This Winter

How to give your body a fighting chance!

By Aimee Buchanan - Clinical Nutritionist

Give your body a fighting chance against the common cold or flu this winter. Winter is coming and it is important to know what we can do to keep a strong and balanced immune system to stay healthy and avoid infections.

Prevention is always better than cure, so follow my simple dietary and lifestyle tips for building healthy immunity.

A strong, healthy immune system is able to keep us well, even when those around us are coughing, sneezing and getting sick. There are many factors that may contribute to the weakening of your immune system including stress, poor sleep, poor food choices and lack of exercise.

During winter the most common virus is the rhinovirus, viruses cause both the common cold and flu. What many people may not realise is that antibiotics target only bacteria and are not able to kill the viruses responsible for colds and flu.

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How to keep your immune defences strong:

Zinc is crucial for immune function as a zinc deficiency may cause a weakened immune response, predisposing you to a longer more severe cold. This wonder-mineral is found in every one of your cells and it’s critical for healthy cell development and function. Zinc interacts with thousands of proteins in your body and is involved in around 300 different enzyme processes.

Zinc and vitamin C are nutrients essential to good health. They are great at boosting immunity and strengthening the healing process.

My top 5 winter immune defences:

By making some simple dietary and lifestyle changes to keep you healthy and reduce the risk of colds and flus:

  • Eat a well-balanced diet including fresh vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, fish, eggs, legumes, and lean meat. Superfoods such as bee pollen, camu camu and reishi mushroom can give you an extra boost.
  • Avoid foods low in nutrients such a sugar, white flour products and alcohol.
  • Drink Plenty of clean water.
  • Exercise regularly.
  • Get a good night’s sleep and take time to rest and relax.


My top 5 winter immune boosters:

By including the foods listed below you are giving your body the best chance at making it through the winter without catching the cold or flu:

  • Zinc- Beef, lamb, herrings, capsicum, egg yolks, ginger, liver, sunflower and pumpkin seeds.
  • Vitamin C- Blackcurrant, broccoli, citrus fruits, brussel sprouts, guava, parsley, pineapple, strawberries, tomatoes, sweet potatoes.
  • Probiotics- Raw Sauerkraut, kombucha, kefir milk, Greek yoghurt, Kimchi.
  • Vitamin D- Cod liver oil, butter, eggs yolk, sprouted seeds, Sunlight (Enjoy your sunbath outside peak UV times in the morning or afternoon to avoid sunburn. Expose your face, arms, and hands to the sun without sunscreen for about 10 minutes in summer and around 15-20 minutes in the cooler months.)
  • Ginger-Add to tea, stir-fry’s or make my immune boosting gummies.

Immune Boosting Gummies

Lemons are high in vitamin C and are a natural antioxidant, which enhances the immune system. They also have antiviral and antibacterial properties.

Ginger is antibacterial so it helps support the immune system and it can help to prevent nausea and soothe an upset stomach.

Pineapple contains an enzyme called Bromelain, which aids the digestion of protein and allows your body to utilize immune boosting amino acids effectively. Pineapple is also well known for its anti- inflammatory properties, which can help heal sore throats.

Honey is also added for its antibiotic, antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties, which helps the body to fight infection and prevent the growth of bad bacteria.

Immune System Gummies


  • 1 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 cup freshly squeezed pineapple juice
  • 1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
  • 3 tablespoons raw honey
  • 3 tablespoons changing habits gelatin


  1. Pop lemon juice and pineapple juice in a medium pot and bring to the boil. Remove from heat and add grated ginger. Leave to infuse for 5 minutes.
  2. When ginger has infused, strain into a jug or bowl, removing ginger sediment.
  3. Sprinkle over gelatin and whisk until completely dissolved and free of lumps.
  4. Let it cool for 10 minutes and then stir in the honey. Taste for sweetness and adjust to your taste.
  5. Pour into moulds or into a glass/ceramic dish. Pop into the fridge until set.
  6. If using a glass/ceramic dish, cut into bite size cubes.
  7. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for 2 weeks.

A Healthy Back for Life

Essential everyday tips
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