Published on February 13th, 2012 | by No Artificial
The Best Natural Flu & Cold Fighters
Prevent colds and flu in winter with these top immune-boosting foods.
Anyone can catch a cold or flu. The common cold can be caused by hundreds of different types of virus, while seasonal flu is caused by either influenza A or B viruses. Both are very common infections of the upper respiratory tract (nose, throat, ears and sinuses) and both are contagious, spread mainly by droplets made when people with flu cough, sneeze or talk.
The peak season for colds is the colder winter months. The dry, cold conditions pull moisture out of droplets released by coughs and sneezes, which allows the virus to linger in the air. In addition, our immune system is less active during the winter and it’s less able to defend us against those common viruses.
We can’t protect ourselves from every cold and flu virus but we can strengthen our immune system naturally with immune-boosting foods and nutritional supplements.
Here’s a list of foods that can help keep you healthy during cold and flu season.
Honey has been used to treat infections for thousands of years. Many studies have proved that honey can be a powerful immune system booster. Raw Honey contains many live enzymes, a full range of vitamins, amino acids and minerals. Because of its antimicrobial properties, honey not only help treat sore throats but can also kill certain bacteria that causes the infection and colds. Only pure, raw honey is the healthiest choice amongst the various forms of honey as it has the most nutritional value. When honey goes through the pasteurization process, it winds up destroying all the enzymes and living properties in it which make it so effective as a medicinal treatment for colds and flu.
Garlic has anti-bacterial properties that help the immune system to fight infection. It is the number one herb in antiviral, antibiotic, antibacterial, antiseptic, and anti-fungal strength. The reason for this is garlic contains several helpful compounds, including allicin. Studies have determined that not only can garlic help prevent many colds but a mega dose of this herb at the first sign of colds can reduce the severity and duration of the symptoms.
Raw garlic contain more beneficial than cooked garlic. If you don’t like the flavor of garlic, there are plenty of garlic supplements on the market today. Garlic combines well with echinacea and together make a strong fighting force against cold and flu.
Citrus fruits such as oranges and lemons are an excellent source of the necessary Vitamin C needed to keep your immune system in shape during flu season. Especially lemon is very effective in combating infections, because only one fruit can provide 80% of our daily recommended amount of this vitamin. Drinking a lemon tea mixture a few times a day as soon as you start feeling sick will help you enhance the immune system and fight off a cold or flu.
Ginger has been used in China for over 2,000 in treating a wide range of medical conditions. It contains many vitamins and minerals. It’s a powerful anti-inflammatory and antiviral herb. It has also been indicated for arthritis, fevers, headaches, toothaches, and coughs. It warms the body and helps circulation. Ginger tea helps relieve congestion in the nasal passage, provides great relief and shorten the duration of cold and flu symptoms.
Generations of parents have spooned chicken soup into their sick children. Hot chicken soup with a variety of veggies contain substances that function as an anti-inflammatory mechanism and ease the symptoms of upper respiratory tract infections, including congestion, stuffy nose, cough, and sore throat. Also an amino acid released from chicken during cooking chemically resembles the drug acetylcysteine, prescribed for bronchitis and other respiratory problems and found in some cold medications.