Flu Fighting Foods

Posted on May 22, 2015 in Health Topics

Flu Fighting Foods

Instead of battling with winter colds and flu, try using natural remedies to overcome these ailments

With winter fast approaching, sniffles, colds and flu are imminent. Babies and young children go to crèche or primary school, where they are exposed to a variety of germs through coughs and runny noses. Older children are exposed to the same germs, and on top of this, have to contend with the stress of writing tests and exams. All of this takes its toll on the immune system, sending our little ones on a downward spiral of winter colds and flus. When it comes to diet, there are a few foods that can help stave off the germs, or at least, soothe the symptoms.

Chicken Soup
It could be that chicken soup makes you feel better, just because of its comfort factor. But studies have found that it has anti-inflammatory properties, helping with sore throats, while also being a decongestant and keeping you hydrated. Scroll to the bottom of the article for a recipe. Garlic Garlic’s natural antibiotic properties help to relieve the symptoms of colds and flus. It is also high in vitamin C. Garlic works best when raw, so you could always chew a garlic clove, which will have the added benefit of keeping everyone at bay and preventing the spread of germs. But if this doesn’t tickle your fancy, try adding it to stews, roasts or pastas. You can also try a gremolata as a zesty topping: mix together the juice and zest of a lemon, with a handful of chopped parsley, a clove or two of garlic and a splash of olive oil.

Ginger
This root may help ease sore and scratchy throats, while suppressing coughs and relieving congestion. Add grated ginger to a stirfry or steep a small amount to make a ginger and honey tea.

Honey
This wonder food is antibacterial and antimicrobial, which means it stops the growth of bacteria. Honey can also boost the immune system while helping to relieve sore throats. Try taking two teaspoons of honey before bedtime to relieve a cough. However, honey should not be given to children younger than one.

Rooibos tea, with honey and lemon, is a comforting drink that can also help remedy sore throats. Honey can also be used as a marinade for chicken or as a topping on fruit and yoghurt.

Horseradish, Wasabi, Mustard and Chillies
Any of these are great for clearing the sinuses. Chillies and red peppers are also a good source of vitamin C. Of course, getting children to eat and enjoy these may be a challenge.

Lemons
Another food high in vitamin C, lemons help to reduce phlegm, help sore throats and ease coughs. Used as part of a gargle, the acidity could also help eliminate germs.

Vitamin C
This vitamin helps to build up our natural defences and boosts the immune system. It may not be able to prevent or treat colds, but it can help shorten their duration. Some other foods that are high in vitamin C include oranges, guavas, fresh broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, strawberries and papaya.

Water and Hot drinks
When winter ailments set in, we often feel congested and stuffy. Lots of fluids help to keep you hydrated, preventing this congestion. Hot drinks are especially good for decongestion and relieving cold and flu symptoms.

source: childmag.co.za