Meals that help boost your immunity

Brigid McKevith, registered dietitian at Tetley, shares her tips on the best things to have for breakfast, lunch and dinner, to keep the bugs at bay during the winter.

Start your day with a good breakfast:

It’s said that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. During the winter months, many of us need something hot to warm us up and get us out the door. But a hot breakfast doesn’t have to mean a fry-up.

  • "Porridge is a great option," says Brigid, "If I’m at home, I like it with some chopped nuts and a drizzle of honey, but I keep a sachet or pot in my office drawer for those early morning starts."
  • Hot milk with your favourite ready to eat cereal will take you back to your childhood. Top with a sliced banana for 1 of your 5 a day.
  • For a weekend breakfast, have a poached egg on whole grain toast with a grilled tomato.

Dinner and lunch:

There is some evidence that over the winter months the levels of some vitamins such as folate decrease. To avoid this, make sure you continue to eat a range of fruits and vegetables in a variety of colours. Look out for root vegetables such as swedes, parsnips, Jerusalem artichokes, fennel and turnips, and winter veggies like cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, kale and pumpkin, and don’t forget winter fruits like oranges, satsumas and apples. 

  • Spicy butternut squash soup: Sauté one diced onion in a saucepan with some oil until golden, add some chilli flakes, one butternut squash (peeled, deseeded and chopped) and cover with vegetable stock. Simmer until the squash is cooked then blitz, adding a little coconut milk and some fresh ginger to finish.
  • Pop a few extra root vegetables in with your roast – sweet potatoes and onions go well with most meats.
  • Mash doesn’t have to be just for potatoes – try mashed carrot and parsnip for a change. Bulk out a Lancashire hot pot with carrots, leeks and turnips.

Wholesome winter desserts:

Often in the winter months, we are tempted by lovely hot sweet puddings and pies, and risk over-indulging. If you are going to have a sweet treat, try and choose a fruit-based dessert. Some of the best winter puddings are:

  • Blackberry crumble, using some rolled oats in place of some of the flour.
  • Baked apples, stuffed with raisins and warming spices such as cinnamon and cloves.
  • Wrap in foil and bake a banana, split in half and top with a couple of marshmallows and squares of dark chocolate.

It’s as important in winter as it during the rest of the year to maintain a healthy diet that provides your body with the vitamins that it needs. A great way to supplement your daily vitamin intake is to enjoy a cup of Tetley Super Green or Tetley Super Fruits Tea. These vitamin-enriched teas are supported by European Food Standards Agency-approved health claims and come in a range of delicious flavours.

This November, Tetley will launch its Winter-Proof campaign, calling on Brits to take care of themselves as winter approaches, as new research reveals that a shocking 75% of us feel run-down during winter months. For more information head here.

For more tips on how to live a healthy lifestyle and healthy recipes, grab the latest copy of Yours.