7 Amazing Foods That Get Rid of Cold and Flu
‘Tis flu season and if you’re feeling sick, take heart as you’re not alone. Each year, adults suffer from two to three colds on average, normally between October and March.
However, before reaching for a brand new over-the-counter flu remedy in your nearby drugstore, try looking for one in your pantry.
Although maintaining a good hygeine, flu shots and regular exercise are known methods of keeping cold and flu at bay, you can also strenghten your immune system health by upping your intake of a few items that may be present right now in your pantry.
Garlic is rich in a compound called allicin, which has potent antibacterial and antimicrobial properties.
In addition, garlic helps support a healthy gut flora, which is your body’s natural system of removing bacteria, viruses and toxins.
While some studies do show that taking garlic supplements can reduce your risk of colds, it may be more beneficial to eat the actual thing by incorporating it more to your daily dishes. This is mainly because the active compounds in garlic are more bioavailable this way.
Oily fish such as salmon, mackerel and tuna are packed with omega-3 fatty acids that have anti-inflammatory effects in the body.
Chronic inflammation can wreak havoc in your immune system, preventing it from working properly and contributing to colds, flus and other severe illnesses.
According to one study, medical students who took fish oil supplements for 90 days showed lower inflammation levels, as well as fewer symptoms of stress and anxiety. Stress and other negative emotions can contribute to colds and flus by weakening your immune system.
3. Sweet potatoes
Not only does having some freshly baked, warm sweet potato sound comforting, especially if you’re feeling under the weather, this superfood is also a great source of beta-carotene – the precursor to vitamin A.
Beta-carotene is converted to vitamin A inside the body following consumption. Vitamin A is an essential nutrient required for a healthy immune system and in preventing colds and flus.
4. Hot tea
Not only can a warm cup of tea soothe congestion and a sore throat, it can also help fight off infections thanks to the natural antibacterial compounds found in it.
During flu season, keep yourself hydrated with warm fluids such as tea, warm water and chicken soup to prevent stuffy nose and increase airflow into your lungs.
Fennel is a natural expectorant, which means it can help alleviate chest congestion and relive a persistent cough.
Fennel can be consumed raw or roasted but if you’re trying to clear away your cold, your best bet would be to brew a tea made with fennel seeds. Simply add 1.5 teaspoons of fennel seeds to 1 cup of boiling water and steep for 15 minutes.
6. Yogurt and kefir
Yogurt and kefir are rich in probiotics, which happen to be beneficial microorganisms that sustain the human body. Probiotics help replenish good bacteria in your gut, thus boosting digestive health and easing stomach ailments when you’re feeling sick.
There are over 10 trillion bacteria in your gut, therefore, it’s best to ensure the good outnumbers the bad by effectively boosting your probiotic intake.
Other sources of probiotics include kimchi, sauerkraut and kombucha.
Oats are made of a type of fiber called beta-glucan, which helps boost your immune system health and even lower your cholesterol levels as a bonus.
Studies show that beta-glucan can help reduce risk of upper respiratory tract infection and even alter white blood cell activity.