As the winter bugs start setting in and causing havoc on our health, don’t let sickness stop you.

Eating certain foods can have a positive effect on your immune system, so start adding some of these ingredients in your diet in order to fight off the winter germs.


1. Garlic

There’s a reason vampires don’t want to go near garlic and it isn’t because of how it smells. Vitamin C, B6, manganese, selenium and other antioxidents are just a few of the nutrients that make up this natural cold and flu repeller. There are even scientists that would go as far to say that garlic could have anti-cancerous qualities, although research supporting that isn’t completely conclusive.


2. Sauerkraut

It might not look beautiful, but this fermented cabbage is full of probiotics that aid intestinal bacteria. Limit your portions though, as it’s filled with salt from the fermentation. Also, avoid cooking it, as heat kills live bacteria and you won’t benefit from the probiotics.


3. Barley

You’ve probably been consuming it without knowing, as barley is a major cereal grain found in bread and some beverages. You’ll get fiber loaded with antimicrobial and antioxidant rich goodness to smash illness.


4. Spinach

No one is disputing that spinach is good for you, just ask Popeye. It’s packed full with plenty of health benefits to help kick that cold. Add some of these dark leafy greens to score high levels of zinc, magnesium and iron.


5. Oysters

Not just for setting the mood. Oysters have many health benefits, and helping your immune system is just one of them. You will not find a more succinct source of zinc, even if they’re coming from a tin.


6. Mushrooms

No meal is complete without a side of mushrooms. Full of iron and calcium, they help boost levels of disease-fighting white blood cells. However, due to the undigestible nature of raw mushrooms, you’ll need to cook them to benefit from their nutritional value.


7. Berries

Not just for summer, berries boast plenty of health benefits while making your meal that little bit more colorful and much more Instagrammable. Avoid non organic berries though – heavily sprayed fruit negates the benefit of their high vitamin C levels.


8. Broccoli

Mom told you to eat this green for a reason. Not only is it loaded with B vitamins and just about every mineral going but it goes with pretty much every meal. You’ll need this one to muscle up your health.


9. Spirulina

A supplement that can actually boost immunity and endurance by 10%? Yes please. Bodybuilding and fitness expert Clayton South says: “Those with weakened immune systems can benefit from the immuno-protective effects of spirulina.” Grab yours from


10. Turmeric

A biochemical marvel that many are calling the next miracle herb. It literally invades cells, upping their resistance to infection.


11. Colostrum protein

Originally derived from cows, this germ-fighting protein can be bought in the form of powder. It protects your respiratory tract, an area often infected in athletes, by up to 79%.


12. Cinnamon

One of the tastiest and healthiest spices on the planet. It helps to improve your circulation and fends off sugar cravings in one fell swoop. Just make sure not to eat a whole spoonful at once, the internet should have taught you that much.


Find more food tips to help you maintain your gains and more in every issue of TRAIN magazine.