Food / Wellbeing

Flu-fighting wisdom from nutritionist Jacqueline Alwill

As we approach the cooler months of the year the possibility of getting sick strengthens. Our bodies can start to feel as though they’re fighting, rather than thriving, for a solid part of the season. Yet good health can easily be achieved and maintained throughout the winter if we look beyond reactive treatments and move toward proactive approaches in health. Falling sick is the result of an inflammation in the body, so the natural way to reduce disease is to approach our diet and lifestyle with an anti-inflammatory attitude.

Inflammatory factors in the diet include sugar, caffeine, alcohol, refined grains and poor quality fats. Reducing them is fairly simple. Steps to cutting down your sugar intake, for example, include:

Swapping fruit juice at breakfast for a green juice or smoothie, with only a half portion of fruit (half an apple or pear, one kiwifruit, half a banana) to sweeten the deal.

“The natural way to reduce disease is to approach our diet and lifestyle with an anti-inflammatory attitude.”

Trade cookies or lollies for raw nuts, seeds or vegetable sticks with hummus as a mid afternoon snack.

Post-dinner chocolate can be substituted for herbal teas such as liquorice and peppermint.

Everyone could benefit from a few more nourishing anti-inflammatory foods in the diet, and the hot star to see you through the cooler seasons is turmeric. Turmeric is a golden root with an active ingredient, curcumin, which has shown profound anti inflammatory effects for the body. Try turning food into medicine with turmeric in a few simple ways:

Brew sliced turmeric with hot water, lemon and ginger, or almond milk, cinnamon and rice malt syrup for the perfect nightcap.

Grate turmeric into a breakfast omelette with greens and herbs to liven up your day.

Incorporate chopped turmeric into soups, curries, stews and other slow cooked meals to boost the anti-inflammatory factor and relax the body into a meal made to nourish.