Protect your health deliciously

Boost your immunity this winter

As Winter approaches we all begin to feel a bit more vulnerable from a health point of view. A stressful year can reduce your immunity and make you suseptable to flu bugs, colds, tummy bugs etc.

What most people think is inevitable doesn’t have to be if you take measures to increase and boost your immunity. Everyone can benefit from the following foods, especially children. Remember, anything that protects your immune system is anti-aging and great for your skin.

Foods to add to your every day diet

There’s not a lot of things that are better for health than increasing or adding foods to your every day diet that are packed with nutrients that nourish, heal and boost immunity. Some foods act immediately to protect you whilst others do it more subtly by building up overall health. The following foods not only protect you, but also are delicious and add flavour and depth to any meal or snack.


Acts quickly if you take raw garlic, it is so powerful it can kill viruses and bacteria just by being next to them! It is not easy to eat raw garlic, you can crush it into mashed potato, salad dressings, on top of soups, and other dishes where it does not over heat.

Roasting garlic is still good for immune system but not as fast acting. (You will of course need to get all of those around you eating it too, if you want to hang on to your friends).

Organic Chicken

Lacks the hormones and anti-biotics of non-organic chicken. High quality protein is vital for a healthy immune function ALL antibodies are made from protein, those people that do not eat enough protein will be more susceptible not only to colds and flu, but many other disease states.

Boiling whole organic chickens, or chicken carcasses and making a soup is a fantastic immune supporting dish – it really is the best food for when you have a cold.

It seems to have a natural anti-biotic effect. Adding other immune support foods like carrots, shitake mushrooms, garlic, sage, thyme will create a truly nourishing and healing broth. The vegetarian version in to use tempeh (soya) or a mix of beans instead of chicken. See below for FoodSpa Chicken Broth Recipe.

Pumpkin Seeds

These are packed with essential fatty acids and zinc, along with other nutrients. Zinc is absolutely essential for a fully functioning immune system. So many people are zinc deficient and may experience recurring colds, and longer to get over flu and other illnesses. They end up taking anti-biotics when actually all they could just be zinc deficient.

Other foods that contain Zinc are:

Molasses, Avocado, Asparagus, Raspberries, Butterbeans, green beans, okra, peas, Pumpkin, Swiss chard, Oats, Rye, Wheat, Buckwheat, Meat, Fish and of course seafood has a high content.

Natural Live Yoghurt

Contains live cultures that assist the gut to increase good gut flora. The beneficial Gut flora is so vital for immunity, that one course of anti-biotics can change your immune defenses dramatically lowering immunity for a very long time afterwards. Organic Natural Live Culture Yoghurt is a good way to increase your good gut flora if you can tolerate dairy.

Using a pro-biotic capsule is one of the best ways to increase gut immunity – which is our first line of defense. Lowered good gut flora will affect immunity and digestion.


Especially – Shitake Mushrooms – contain polysaccharides that dramatically increase immune activity. Also contain B Vitamins, iron and Zinc (use fresh and keep dried ones to add to every day cooking)


Contain beta-glucans (similar to mushrooms) that boosts the activity of the immune system. The soluble fibre also binds to toxins further assisting immunity.

Oily Fish

Contains Omeg3 fatty acids, which are vital for a robust immune function. Also high in protein – your immune system cannot function properly if you are protein deficient.

Green Tea

Contains Vitamin C along with other nutrients, but it is the polyphenols that convey the main health benefits.
Orange Vegetables (carrots, sweet potatoes, squash) – Contain high amounts of antioxidant Beta-carotene that binds to damaging free radicals that cause problems with immune function. The beta-carotene converts to safe amounts of vitamin A, which is vital for a healthy immune system.


Has been shown not only to prevent colds and flu, but has also been used in studies to actually fight flu viruses once sickness has developed. The best way to consume these are via an Elder syrup that you can find in health stores, or by picking them from trees when they are ripe – they grow abundently in the UK. However you must pick when ripe or they are quite toxic.

See website for info:


Packed with vitamin C and bioflavonoids that boost immunity and protect cardiovascular health, if you don’t buy organic you muct soak them in a special ‘Veggie Wash'(from healthstores) to wash thoroughly.

Coconut oil

Contains lauric acid, which kills viruses, bacteria and fungi. Although it is 90% saturated fat it is not the harmful transfats that are in many processed foods and margarine spreads. It is not as fattening as other fats either. It promotes immunity in both adults and it’s great for children.

Black currents

3 x more Vitamin C than oranges weight for weight. Bioflavonoids are powerful immune boosters and this fruit contains a high amount.

Lemons and Limes

These ontain Limonene and bio-flavonoids, which are potent immune boosters, along with Vitamin C.


Contain powerful antioxidants that support immunity, they are also high in Vitamin C. They are cardiovascular protective and blood purifiers, as well as containing sleep-enhancing properties. The better you sleep, the greater your resistance to illness.

Important Immune enhancing supplements

Vitamin C, Zinc, Vitamin D, Essential Fatty Acids, Beta-carotene, Bioflavonoids

FoodSpa Chicken Broth Recipe

Bone building, Immune Boosting, Anti-aging

4 x servings, or 6 large mugfuls can be sealed in jars and refrigerated for up to 3 days

1 Large or two small organic chicken carcasses from the butcher (or you can use a whole chicken)
1 litre of filtered water (You may need to add more as it’s cooking)
2 x Large onions
4/5 carrots
A handful of green beans
1 pack of shiitake mushrooms
3 Sprigs of Thyme
Large pinch of Himalayan salt
1 large pinch cayenne pepper
or crush a hot chilly into the mix

Optional: Add a whole bulb of garlic for extra immune boost whilst cooking, or crsuh some garlic into the soup just before serving.

  • Place everything in large saucepan of water and boil for 30 minutes, then simmer for an hour. Keep checking the fluid don’t let too much evaporate add more water if necessary.
  • When ready, remove the chicken bones carefully as they will fall apart easily. Let all the meat fall into the broth as this adds protein.
  • Take off the heat and skim off all excess chicken fat. You can strain the soup and serve as a thin broth or as (I prefer) a good hearty bowel of goodness.
  • For storage place when hot into glass jars and seal, as it cools it will become vacuum sealed which will keep it fresher for longer. When opening the jar of broth at a later date, discard the fat on top.
  • To make into a more substantial meal try adding Jerusalem artichokes,and haricot beans.

Health Benefits: Healing and nourishing in times of sickness, Helps make bones stronger and re hydrates joints.
Anti-aging and hydrating for skin, Antiviral, Antibacterial, Immune strengthening.

For more health recipes visit my website:

Nutritionist-WandsworthAbout The Author

Sam Bourne is a qualified Nutritionist registered with the NTC (Nutritional Therapy Council), CNHC (Complementary and Natural Health Council) and BANT (British Association for Applied Nutrition and Nutritional Therapy). She draws her clients from Wandsworth and the Central London area.

Find out more about Sam’s work by visiting her GoToSee profile page here


For an appointment contact:
m: 07780 600 966
tel: 0203 3440468

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