A robust immune system is key to dodging the sniffles, and according to Nutritionist Kathleen Alleaume, enjoying a healthy diet is key.
“It’s important to enjoy a balanced diet with a wide range of colour to ensure you getting a mix of vitamins and minerals, however foods rich in rich in vitamin C and gut-loving prebiotics are particularly notorious for feeding our immune system and assist in fighting common infections such as colds and flus,” says Kathleen.
“Enjoying nutritious foods doesn’t have to be expensive – onions are a perfect example of this. They may be a cheap pantry staple, but they are bursting with health benefits due to their high levels of vitamin C, phytochemicals and prebiotics.”
image via pinterest
Onions really are the perfect go-to vegetable to assist with immunity. Here’s why:
They are rich in vitamin C
Just 100g of onions provides between 15-20% of an adult or child’s recommended daily intake of vitamin C. This essential nutrient helps with iron and zinc absorption, which is vital in increasing resistance to infection.
Vitamin C also assists with cardiovascular health, healthy skin and normal growth and development.
Great for your gut
Onions are a rich source of prebiotics, which is a special type of dietary fibre that ferments in the digestive system and helps feed ‘good’ bacteria (probiotics).
A balance of bacteria in the gut is an important part of protecting the body against infection. The prebiotic fibres in onions also assist with increased absorption of essential vitamins and minerals including calcium, magnesium and iron.
Cheap and easy to add in
You probably already have a few onions sitting in your pantry – if not, they are available for next to nothing. This makes them one of the easiest and most budget-friendly ways to boost your vitamin C intake.
Onions can be easily disguised in your favourite dishes, making them a great choice for parents of fussy eaters. Simply finely chop or blend your onion to deliver a secret serve of vegetables that the kids won’t say no to.
Old School Fish Cakes Recipe
Provided by Australian Onions, by Mike Mcenearney
Prep time: 90 mins
Cooking time: 20 mins
– 450g any oily fish fillet (e.g. salmon, ocean trout, snapper, hot smoked kingfish or a mixture of all), skin and pinbones removed.
– 750ml (3 cups) Full Cream Milk
– 450g Sebago potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
– 2 TSP Mustard powder
– 1 brown onion, finely diced
– 3 spring onions, finely sliced
– 1/4 bunch of dill leaves, roughly chopped
– 1/4 bunch of flat leaf parsley leaves, roughly chopped
– Salt flakes and freshly ground black pepper.
– 150g (1 cup) plain flour
– 4 eggs
– 140g (2 cups) fresh breadcrumbs
– 4 TBSP clarified butter or TBSP butter and 2 TBSP Olive oil
– Lemon wedges and tartare sauce to serve
1. Place the fish in a saucepan with 500ml (2 cups) of the milk and poach gently 5 mins or until cooked. Remove from the heat and leave to cool slightly, then drain.
2. Boil the potatoes until tender then drain and mash until smooth. While these are boiling, sauté off your diced onion in the butter until transparent. While the potatoes and onions are still hot, mix the fish, mustard powder, onion, spring onion and chopped herbs. Season to taste with salt and pepper, making sure you keep the fish in nice flakes and not overworked into the potato. Press the mixture into a baking dish to form a 3cm thick layer and chill in the fridge for at least one hour to firm up.
3. Cut the chilled mixture into four patties using a large round cutter. With three shallow bowls, season the flour and place in one. Whisk the eggs with the remaining 250ml (1 cup) of milk and place in another. Tip the breadcrumbs into the final one.
4. Gently toss the fish cakes in the flour for an even dusting, dunk them into the egg mixture until completely coated. Finally, press into the breadcrumbs, reshaping them neatly as you go. Heat the clarified butter or butter/oil in a large frying pan over medium heat and cook the fishcakes until they are golden brown, crisp on both sides and warmed through. Remove and drain on paper towel.
5. Serve with lemon wedges and a small bowl of tartare sauce on the side.
If you want more ideas, here are some recipes ideas that everyone, including fussy eaters, will love!