With the onset of winter, the chills, fever, runny noses and bouts of sneezing are not far off. It’s best to be prepared for cold weather by finding ways to avoid a cold, so that you can truly enjoy the change. Though flu shots and cold preventive medicines have their value, nothing is better than natural weather-adaptive measures, changing your diet to include these flu-fighting foods.

In preventing colds, Vitamin C still holds top place as the number one weapon. The first thing that comes to mind when you mention Vitamin C – oranges, right? Yes, oranges are a rich source of the vitamin and used the world over to protect from colds and build up immunity. Go for a glass of freshly-squeezed juice rather than the processed, carton-packed one though, which is often laden with flavour-enhancing additives and sugar.

Sunshine helps our bodies to synthesize Vitamin D, and cloudy, grey skies lead to a lack of this essential nutrient. Eggs are a rich source of protein as well as Vitamin D. A regular intake, especially in the winters, helps boost immune systems that are then well-equipped to fight seasonal coughs and colds.

Yoghurt, fresh, not processed, is one of the healthiest foods on the planet. It is full of probiotics, which boost your resistance to illness and boost immunity. It’s also a protein rich food and should be part of all healthy diets. Top it with fruit to get that extra kick at the start of your day.

Fermented green tea is known for its high antioxidant content. Forget about the teabags. Get a bag of dried leaves, boil a few and keep the brew to last the whole day through, half a cup at a time. That’s the way to get the most out of it.

What would winter be without chicken soup? The ubiquitous broth is a winter staple, a fixed item not only on posh restaurant menus but also roadside food-carts. We all heard our grandmothers and mothers extol the miraculous curative powers of it when we got an attack of sniffles in childhood, and even medical science acknowledges its virtues as a food that helps fight respiratory tract infection, reduces inflammation and breaks down mucus. It’s psychological benefit as a comfort food cannot be undermined either.