The festive food first aid kit

Norwich nutritional therapist Catherine Jeans puts together a food first aid kit of 10 festive foods that could help you fight the bugs this winter. Compiled by Emma Harrowing.


Brilliant for nausea, especially during pregnancy. Just peel and grate into hot water and allow to infuse for five to 10 minutes. Or add to your favourite stir fries and stews.


One of the best sources of potassium, which can help to reduce high blood pressure. Four sticks per day is ideal, but if you take blood pressure-lowering medication consult your doctor before eating high-potassium foods.

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Sometimes known as linseed, flaxseed are a great food

for hormone balance because they contain plant

chemicals which can increase the levels of sex

hormone-binding globulin which can help transport

excess hormones out of the body. Either buy ready-

ground and add to cereals, yoghurts or soups, or

sprinkle the whole seeds into baking or as a

crunchy topping for salads.


This delicious grain, ideal for morning porridge, can help reduce high blood cholesterol, as well as helping to calm nerves, aid sleep and soothe the digestive system. Also ideal for diabetics, as they are rich in chromium which can help to balance blood sugar levels.


Delicious and sweet, fresh figs are great for getting your bowels moving and relieving constipation. Slice them open and drizzle with fresh honey.


Great for preventing and treating urinary tract infections (cystitis) by stopping bacteria from sticking to the bladder and intestinal wall. Best taken in unsweetened juice, either during an infection or on a daily basis to prevent it.


Not only a rich source of folic acid, which is vital during pregnancy to reduce the risk of spina bifida, cabbage is also rich in the amino acid glutamine. Glutamine can help to soothe the digestive tract and has often been used as a traditional ulcer remedy.


This pungent vegetable is great for clearing your airways and relieving coughs and colds. Either add raw to salads, or you can put a few slices on a plate and sprinkle with some brown sugar. Leave overnight and drink the syrup.


Rich in bromelain, a powerful enzyme that can help with wound healing and reducing inflammation. Plus it's a great fruit to help digestion.


One of the best-known healing foods, used by the ancient Greeks. Modern research shows it can aid circulation and support your body's ability to fight infection – so eat plenty of garlic to keep the colds and bugs at bay.

Catherine Jeans, nutritional therapist and The Family Nutrition Expert, is based at The Orange Grove Clinic, Maddermarket, Norwich. Telephone 01603 631900.