Woman's Own: The anti-flu superfoods

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Woman eating avocado


Woman's Own food therapist Monica Grenfell reveals the most powerful flu-fighting superfoods on the planet...


The body needs vitamin C to build defences. One papaya provides twice the required daily amount of vitamin C. It also has antioxidant carotenes in the orange flesh and the enzyme papain, a natural pain-reliever.
Daily amount: 1/2 papaya.
Best eaten: After meal containing fat or meat; or dinner.


An egg white is pure protein with no fat. Eggs also are one of the few dietary sources of vitamin D, which the body must have to help absorb calcium. Eggs also contain selenium and vitamin E, two powerful antioxidants.
Daily amount: One egg.
Best eaten: Any time of day.


This dairy staple is one of the few 'complete foods'. Its star nutrients are calcium and phosphorus, a vital mineral or growth and repair, essential for fighting bugs.
Daily amount: 1-2 portions.
Best eaten: One yogurt with each meal, to aid digestion.


Top of the antioxidant list, a 100g serving also provides 20 per cent of your daily iron requirements, a third of your fibre needs, plus calcium and potassium. The antioxidants that reverse cell damage come from carotenes in the purple skins.
Daily amount: Six.
Best eaten: Anytime.

Sweet potatoes

These are a rich source of carotenes and phytochemicals, which build antioxidant defences. They're also good for combatting aches and pains because they neutralise body acids.
Daily Amount: 200g.
Best eaten: With dinner so that the energy carries you through the night, ensuring sound sleep.


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This fruit contains a whole host of superfood components, including vitamin E, magnesium, carotenes (especially lutein, which is important for your eyes), niacin, vitamin C and biotin, which helps to ease muscle aches and pains.
Daily amount: 1/2 avocado three times per week.
Best eaten: On its own or filled with shellfish or walnuts.

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