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Foods to stave off the pre-Christmas cold

It’s that time of year again; people are dropping like flies to the common cold - everywhere you go someone’s sniffing, coughing or sneezing.

One of the best ways to keep the cold at bay is by eating the right foods. Your diet actually has a huge amount to do with your body’s ability to stave off illness.

Below we’ve listed some of the best foods that will help you stay fit and healthy.

Garlic - Chef Benn says that when he feels a cold coming on he crushes whole cloves of garlic on toast and then wakes up the next day cold free; albeit a tad garlicky. Studies have shown that this clever little kitchen staple contains microbial oils that can help stave off pesky illnesses.

Ginger - Ginger in hot water is a well known cold remedy but why is it so effective? It’s said to have a large number of antibacterial as well as anti-inflammatory properties that have been used by the Chinese for over 2,500 years.

Oysters - Not the first thing that jumps to mind when you think of cold preventing foods but oysters are actually 10 times high in zinc than red meat. Zinc is essential in helping your body repair and fight off illness.

Oranges -  One of the oldest tricks in the book. Abundantly rich in Vitamin C it helps support a healthy immune system.

Mushrooms - Now that the sun has pretty much tucked itself away for the next 5 months it’s vital to still keep Vitamin D levels up. Less important for staving off colds but essential in maintaining healthy bones, skin and hair!

Sun-dried Tomatoes - These delicious little preserved vegetables pack a nutritional punch. They contain a carotenoid called lycopene which gives tomatoes their beautiful red colour and also helps reduce inflammation, as well as being a powerful antioxidant.

Kimchi - Gut health is not just a trend, there’s truth behind it too. Looking after your gut will help you fight off illnesses like the common cold. The reason is that about 80% of your body’s immune cells live in your intestine, so if you take care of them they’ll take care of you.

A vegan dinner you wouldn’t even know was vegan…

Benn’s Apple & Caramel Vegan Dessert