It's nearly Ekka time, and we all know what that means!

Colds and flu are rife at this time of year. Even Brisbane's relatively mild winter can give us the sniffles, and with the Ekka winds due to hit it's potentially a slippery slope to illness. Prevention is always best where possible, so keep the veges and fruits up for their beautiful immune boosting nutrients. Think foods like oranges for vitamin c, berries for their antioxidant value, and pepitas (pumpkin seeds) for zinc. And make the most of this beautiful winter sunshine to maintain your vitamin d levels.

If the dreaded lurgy does get you despite your best efforts, the good news is that there is plenty you can do to shorten the duration of your sniffles. I go for an immune boosting tea like the one below if I get a cold and it works for me to both lessen the duration and severity significantly.


2 slices fresh ginger

Big squeeze of lemon juice

Pinch of black pepper

½ to 1 tsp powdered turmeric


Boiled water

I basically just put everything (minus the honey) in a mug, give it a stir and then add the honey to taste. Honey helps soothe a tickly throat but if this isn’t worrying you, or you don’t need the sweetness, you can leave it out. The black pepper helps your body absorb the turmeric which has lots of anti-inflammatory properties (but leave the turmeric out if you are on blood thinners like warfarin as it can have an additive effect). Sip it slowly until it's gone and then make some more. The taste is, I'll be honest, not amazing but when I'm that sick I can't taste anything properly anyway it really doesn't matter! And the benefits are worth it.

Diet-wise, include foods like pawpaw, kiwifruit and pineapple, which contain both vitamin c and enzymes which help your body break up mucous. Chicken and vegetable soup is also proven to provide great nourishment in an easily digestible form to help you heal. Avoid foods like wheat, oats, banana, refined sugar and dairy as these can make you more phlegmy. Keep up your fluids, preferably water, and rest! When you are at rest your body repairs. Nourishing yourself and resting so that your body can make the most of that nourishment to heal are the best things you can do. So take that day off work, eat well and rest. You'll be better in no time.