Its flu season again! Be sure to head to your doctor and get a flu shot or you might end up suffering from this sickness. But aside from vaccine, there are natural ways to boost your immune system to fight against common cold and flu â€“ and it can be found in good foods. What you eat may help prevent or treat these common illnesses.
First, itâ€™s better to understand the difference and symptoms of cold and flu [see it here]. If you feel like you catch these illness, or even not have the symptoms to begin with, try these foods, they might help you to fight or avoid getting sick this season.
Chicken Soup: Itâ€™s been called natureâ€™s penicillin and is at the top of the list for its curative powers. Hot chicken soup helps clear clogged airways, and the nourishing broth will give you more energy. Add plenty of vegetables, including onion and garlic, for extra healing power.
Hot and Spicy Food: Some people swear by garlic, horseradish, chillis or spicy sauces to help ease congestion. Cook Indian or other ethnic foods that contain these ingredients, or simply add a spicy sauce to foods for extra zip.
Garlic: This fragrant bulb contains a flavoring agent called alliin which acts as a decongestant. Garlic is also believed to act as an antioxidant and destroy free-radicals, the active oxygen molecules that damage cells, so add garlic liberally to your favourite foods.
Fluids: Stay hydrated with plenty of liquids. Instead of coffee, fizzy or sweetened drinks have plenty of water and pure fruit juices. Hot beverages work better for some people, so consider chamomile or peppermint herbal tea, or sip on hot water with a slice of lemon.
Citrus Fruits: Reach for citrus fruits to increase your vitamin C intake. Drink orange juice for breakfast, snack on half a grapefruit, or add tangerine slices to a lunchtime salad. Getting an increased amount of vitamin C is especially important if you smoke, as smoking increases both your risk of catching a cold and your body’s need for this protective vitamin.
Vitamin C sources: Citrus fruits aren’t the only foods high in vitamin C. Potatoes, green peppers, strawberries and pineapple can help as your daily cold-fighting food arsenal.
Ginger: Many people find fresh ginger root helps treat the coughing and fever that often accompany colds and flu. Try making a ginger tea: Pour a cup of boiling water over 2 tablespoons of freshly grated ginger and let it steep for 5 to 10 minutes.
Remember: A daily routine of high-fat, high-sugar junk foods, skipped meals and lots of caffeine can make you more susceptible to minor illnesses like colds and flu. Instead, make sure you eat plenty of wholegrains, fruit, vegetables and low-fat protein to keep your immune system strong. Think of nutritious foods as part of your cold-and-flu armour, and you’ll be ready to do battle whenever illness strikes.