A change in weather indicates the start of cold and flu season, so nutrition plays a vital role in strengthening your immune system. Nutrition may not be able to eliminate the chances of contracting the flu, but there are foods to fight the flu and lessen the duration and severity of its symptoms.
Eat Healthy Live Healthy!
There is no doubt that healthy eating habits lead to healthy lifestyles with increased immunity to fight various illness and infections. However, there still would be some diseases and infections, which would keep striking us, once in a while, regardless of how well we plan our meal options. Common cold and flu are perhaps one of those diseases.
Recently, scientists have unravelled the complex mechanism of the immune system and its dependence on a diet. Nothing makes as much difference to your health as a well-functioning immune system. If you have good immunity, you can prevent anything from common cold to viral infection, stomach disorders chronic fatigue to even deadly cancer. Foods contain antioxidants, which stimulate immune functioning and increase your resistance to infections.
Influenza, or flu, is a respiratory tract infection caused by a variety of flu viruses with symptoms like fatigue, fever or headaches. Instead of turning to endless pills, its always better to try natural flu-fighters present in foodstuffs all around us and enhance our immune system. So, load up on these immune-boosting foods to fight flu and keep yourself healthy!
Foods to Fight Flu
Take plenty of fluids in the form of warm water, soups, juices and watery broths to flush toxic by-products out of the body as quickly and efficiently as possible. Avoid drinks with diuretics (fluid-eliminating) properties, such as tea, coffee, alcohol and carbonated beverages. Get plenty of fluids to thin secretions or the phlegm, making it easier for the body to flush them away from the body.
It is known for treating and preventing colds, and aiding the white blood cells to destroy bacteria. Include the rich sources like oranges, amla, sweet lime, broccoli, pineapple, cabbage, cauliflower, and sweet potato. If you smoke, then getting an increased amount of vitamin C becomes especially important as smoking not only increases your risk of catching a cold but also steps up the body’s need for this protective vitamin.
This wonder food is a marvel of nature that helps fight bacteria and virus. On testing the blood of some garlic eaters who were made to eat about 15 cloves a day, it was found that their blood contained more potent T-lymphocytes and macrophages, which increase natural killers activity and increase immunity compared with non-garlic eaters. Eat 4-5 cloves of raw garlic every day.
Honey is yet another flu fighter. Full of antioxidants and muco-kinetic properties, honey has long been used to help treat sore throats and other bacterial infections. It can also assist in the growth of friendly bacteria in the intestine, improve digestive health. It is advisable to have a tablespoon of honey with warm water or as a sugar substitute for your drinks.
Ginger contains a natural plant compound called gingerol that can help fight off infections and flu. You can have ginger in tea or make fresh ginger juice and have it with honey and warm water.
Radish is an excellent remedy for thinning down mucous clearing sinuses, blocked nose, and mucous related migraine. Its juice helps thin down mucus, reduces phlegm, and corrects a sore throat.
Foods rich in zinc help improve immunity levels. Some best sources are bajra, jowar, wheat bran, peanuts, skimmed milk, watermelon seeds, and spinach.
Take antioxidants like Vitamins A, C and E, selenium and chromium either in the natural form or in a pill form.
This herb strengthens immunity by exhibiting antiviral and antibacterial properties. It is especially effective against the cold virus.
Spicy foods promote the release of mucus and break-up of congestion. A bowl spicy foods containing horseradish, hot pepper sauce, ginger, hot mustard, or garam masala helps.
Some of the best sources are carrots, pumpkin, sweet potato, broccoli, spinach, and cherries. These foods help keep your immune system strong.
A daily routine of high-fat, high-sugar junk foods and intake of excess caffeine can make you more susceptible to cold and flu. Eat nutritious foods like whole grains, fruits, vegetables and low-fat protein as they boost your immunity. For a personalised immunity plan, call 1-800-843-0206 and speak to our experts.