Do you feel the flu coming on? Instead of downing a glass of orange juice, reach for a punnet of strawberries or a handful of nuts.

We all know that oranges are rich in vitamin C, but research shows that ounce for ounce, strawberries are better for the flu than oranges.

Dr Emma Derbyshire, registered Public Health Nutritionist, shares her top tips on what you should be eating to stay healthy and keep your immune system strong this winter.

Snack on fresh fruits and seeds

Blueberries, strawberries, anise seeds, Brazil nuts and walnuts are the ultimate immune boosters.

Berries are perfect winter snacks and are full of vitamin C — just 7 strawberries provide the recommended daily amount which contributes to the normal function of the immune system, along with the reduction of tiredness and fatigue.

Stay hydrated

Taking in extra beverages like water, herbal tea and juice helps replace fluids lost from fever and respiratory tract evaporation, and it helps loosen mucus.

Organise your meals

Keep track of meal and snack frequency. It can be very easy for seasonal extras to creep into diets which can drive up salt and saturated fat intakes, ultimately contributing to dehydration.

Avoid over eating

Let’s face it, eating dense food and indulging in rich, hearty meals is far more comforting than settling down with a salad, especially in colder months. But Dr Emma recommends hot water bottles to keep you warm and exercise to keep your immune system on full power, instead of stodgy or fatty foods.

Catching the cold seems inevitable at this time of year, but if you follow these instructions, you might just wriggle out of it this time around.

Explore our Health pages and find out what herbal and nutritional remedies you can take to lessen the blow of the flu season.