Beat Pre-Christmas Bugs


Shutterstock © Family in kitchen at Christmas Pic: Shutterstock

No-one wants to spent the festive season feeling under the weather so we asked the experts at food tracking app Nutracheck for advice on beating winter bugs to keep the whole family healthy…

STAY WELL THIS WINTER

Eat the right things

Seems like an obvious statement but make sure you follow a healthy balanced diet – so plenty of fruits/vegetables, wholegrains, lean protein, calcium rich foods, good fats and limited high fat/high sugar snacks. This will arm your body with the nutrients it needs to fight off illness and stay healthy.

Drink plenty of fluids

Drinking plenty of fluids is important for maintaining healthy cells and a healthy immune system. Every function our body goes through requires water, so don’t skip your 6-8 glasses of water. Try to alternate alcoholic drinks and soft drinks at parties.

Get plenty of rest

Nothing hammers our immunity quite like lack of sleep, so don’t sacrifice this for a good time. Aim for 6-8 hours per night and try to keep to a routine for the best quality shut eye. A lack of sleep can also up our stress levels which will certainly give our immunity a hit, so try your best not to burn the candle at both ends.

AND DON’T..

Don’t skip your workout

Keeping up with your regular exercise routine is important for staying well. Research has shown that regularly moderate intensity exercise helps us to fight off infection better than if we are completely inactive.

Don’t overdo the alcohol

Nothing hammers our immune system quite like a night on the fizz. We all want to have a great time at our festive gatherings but try to manage the level of alcohol consumed by alternating soft drinks with alcoholic drinks. Make sure not to drink on an empty stomach and try at all costs to avoid the shots!

Don’t wash your turkey in your sink

Catching an annoying, but relatively harmless cold is one thing – but suffering food poisoning is quite another. Some people choose to wash their turkey before cooking it, but this can easily spread bacteria around your kitchen and is unnecessary. Any bacteria present on your bird will be killed during the roasting process – so skip the bird bath this year!

IMMUNE BOOSTING FOOD 

Give your immune system a boost with these nutrient-rich foods – simply make them a regular part of your diet leading up to Christmas.

Salmon and veg on a platter

Sweet potato

Orange coloured fruits and vegetables are a good source of vitamin A, which is an antioxidant that plays an important role in keeping our immune system strong. Just 100g of sweet potato has more than your daily requirement of vitamin A.

Red peppers

Like most sweet and juicy fruits/vegetables, peppers are a great source of vitamin C – another antioxidant, which is important for a healthy immune system. Vitamin C is used by the body for growth and repair, helping to keep us healthy and strong.

Eggs

The yolk of an egg is one of the few food sources of vitamin D (we make most of it ourselves using sunlight). Vitamin D deficiency can increase our susceptibility to infection, so it’s important we get enough. Choosing vitamin D rich food sources will help, but it’s also advised that we consider taking a supplement in winter months.

Salmon

Easy to cook, this oily fish provides us with all-important healthy fats – omega 3 fatty acids. Fats are essential for our body to absorb fat-soluble vitamins A, D and E, so these good fats are an important part of a healthy diet. Choose wild salmon over farmed varieties to give you the best dose of omega 3.

Brazil nuts

These are one of the best sources of selenium, which has been shown to have protective effects against pathogens and ageing. Just 4 Brazil nuts offer your daily selenium needs.

Spinach, ricotta and cranberry roll-ups

Spinach and ricotta roll ups

An easy lunch for guests over Christmas from Nutracheck – and delicious, too!

Per roll up: 99 kcals, 2.9g fat, 1.7g sat fat, 13.9g carbs, 6g sugar, 1.9g fibre, 3.5g protein, 0.2g salt

Ingredients:

  • 1 large wholemeal tortilla
  • 100g ricotta cheese
  • Large handful of spinach
  • 2tbsp dried cranberries

To Make:

  1. Warm the tortilla through in the microwave for 10-15secs.
  2. Finely chop the spinach and cranberries and mix into the ricotta cheese.
  3. Once the tortilla has cooled a little, spread evenly with the cheese mix and then roll up the wrap quite tightly.
  4. Wrap in cling film and chill in the fridge for at least 10mins.
  5. When you’re ready to serve, remove the wrap from the fridge and cut into 4 roll-ups.

Credit: Recipe courtesy of food tracking app Nutracheck, www.nutracheck.co.uk

Allison Hay

I joined the My Weekly team nine years ago, and I love the variety of topics we cover both online and in the magazine. I manage the digital content for the brand, sharing features and information on the website, social media and in our digital newsletters. I also work for Your Best Ever Christmas - perfect as it's my favourite time of year!