With the official start of winter only weeks away, there is no denying that we can all feel a change in the temperature. And with that, many of us may face the dreaded common winter cold.
A quick Google search will reveal endless articles on how we can boost our immune system but is there actually any science behind them? I took a look at the evidence…
Vitamin C has many important functions in the body. It is an antioxidant meaning that it helps to fight free radicals which may contribute to ageing and disease development. Moreover, Vitamin C is essential for the development of collagen in the body which leads to healthy nails, hair, skin and other benefits.
That said, the link between vitamin C and the common cold is less clear. The current evidence suggest that for healthy individuals, vitamin C supplementation does not protect against the common cold but may reduce the severity and duration of the symptoms.
Oranges, pepper, berries and broccoli all contain high levels of vitamin C. Why not help your body meet its vitamin C requirements by including more of these foods in your diet? DropChef have added a delicious new Chicken and Broccoli Pasta Bake to the menu – key an eye out!
Zinc deficiency can have an effect on the natural activity of the immune system. A number of studies have concluded that taking a zinc supplement can lessen the duration and intensity of the common cold. However, other studies have shown no effect.
If you wish to try a zinc supplement, those containing zinc acetate, as opposed to other forms of zinc, seem to be most effective. On the other hand, if you wish to get your zinc through diet alone, try adding more oysters, beans, legumes, oats, nuts and seeds to your diet. Why not try the Spiced Sweet Potato, Butter Bean and Broccoli Stew from DropChef ?
Amy Meegan, BSc (Hons) Human Nutrition, UCD