Arm your body to fight the flu this winter


Arm your body to fight the flu this winter

Canstar Blue

As our health services brace themselves for the annual influx of winter cold and flu related illnesses, are there things we could be doing to boost our immunity and fight off the germs before they attack us?

When it comes to keeping your immune system in tip top condition there is no substitute for a healthy diet bursting with fruit and veggies.

From capsicums and citrus for your vitamin C boost to the supercharged veggies such as broccoli, kale and spinach, the more variety you feed your body, the better equipped your immune system will be to battle the bugs.

“In today’s society of fast and convenient food it can be incredibly easy to slip into bad food habits, but there are a few essentials we should be eating.” Says Canstar Blue’s Emma Quantrill. “Making a few simple changes can make a big difference to how we arm our body’s defences.”

Ingredients to build a healthier immune system

A good diet to boost your immune systems does not have to be complicated. In fact, in many cases it’s a case of getting the basics right and making sure there are a few regular ingredients in our diet. The main things needed to arm our immunity systems are:


There’s quite a few in this category so for simplicity, we’ll stick to the main ones. Spinach and broccoli are great sources of both Vitamin C and E. Most people are familiar with Vitamin C but Vitamin E is another great antioxidant that helps your body fight off infection. Vitamin A – common in amongst other things, carrots, squash and kumara, is also great for your immunity. B6 and D are the other notable vitamins we need to stock up on, the first commonly found in chickpeas, baked potatoes and chicken breast, the later can be found in fortified foods such as milk cereals and yogurts.


Again, without going to huge detail the major ones to help with our immune systems are Iron, Selenium and Zinc. Easily absorbed Haem Iron is commonly found in meat, poultry and fish. Fish and brazil nuts are a great source of Selenium, and Zinc, although only needed in small amounts, is commonly found in diary, lean meats, beans and lentils.

But what happens if we’re not eating enough of the right things?

Latest research from Canstar Blue reveals that in order to combat a poor diet,16% of people who take multi-vitamins do so because they don’t eat well. This rises to 21% for the 18 to 39 age group.

Quantrill continues

“Whether it’s to top up dietary needs, or get over a cold, our survey revealed that 46% of people reported feeling better when regularly taking multi vitamins. And, with the natural health market in New Zealand growing – pharmacy sales are over $142million, up 12.9% on a year ago[1] – it looks like more and more Kiwis are willing to complement their diets with additional supplements.”

Most popular multivitamins

This year Canstar Blue asked 1,241 New Zealanders to rate their multivitamins based on a number of different criteria.

For the second year running we are delighted to announce Thompson’s as the winner of the Canstar Blue Overall Customer Satisfaction Award.

Accepting the accolade, Michelle Sackim, Brand Manager - Retail Brands (New Zealand) said:

“The Thompson’s team are delighted to accept this award for a third time and second year running.

“At Thompson’s, we always strive for the best in quality and efficacy to ensure our products deliver the very best health outcomes for our customers.”