Before you reach for an over-the-counter remedy in your medicine cabinet, go to your kitchen first. Your kitchen holds most of the foods that can help you boost your immune system to fight the flu.
While regular exercise, hand washing and getting the flu shot are tested methods to fight off sickness, you can also boosts your immune systems with foods and ingredients found right in your pantry.
The most effective way to fight flu and cold is to consume foods that will help you build the healthy cells you need to feel better. Add these cold- and flu-fighting foods to your kitchen pantry.
9 Foods to Help You Fight the Flu:
Heart-healthy almonds can provide those immune-boosting antioxidant vitamin E, which can help reduce your chance of developing respiratory infections and catching colds according to researchers at Tufts University. More than just a serving of almonds is needed for your daily dose, so try sunflower seeds, fortified cereals, wheat germ and turnip greens.
2. Citrus Fruits
Vitamin C is most commonly found in citrus fruits, which is an antioxidant that can help in reducing cold symptoms by 23%, according to studies. Studies reported that just 1-8 grams or 1,000 to 8,000 milligrams of the vitamin will do and which you can get from citrus fruits or supplements.
3. Dark Leafy Vegetables
Most of you associate citrus fruit with vitamin C, but dark leafy greens, such as kale, spinach, arugula and Swiss chard are also great sources of the cold-fighting vitamin. According to research, if you consistently take adequate amounts of Vitamin C, it can reduce the duration of a cold.
It is recommended that you saute vegetables and combine them with other healthy foods and , such as garlic. Take note, the darker the greens, the higher its nutrient content.
4. Homemade Chicken Soup
Researchers reported that soup works well in fighting viruses. One theory is that hot soup helps in raising the temperature in your throat and nose, which creates an unwelcoming environment for viruses that lives in dry and cool places.
Also research found that the chicken contains flu-fighting properties. Homemade chicken soup contains protein groups that have been known to have anti-viral properties.
Honey is often recommended as a cure-all for everything from cuts, burns and scrapes. This is because honey’s, natural antiseptic properties allow it to work like hydrogen peroxide.
Because it coats your throat, honey is a great cold and flu-friendly sore throat reliever. Also, because of its anti-microbial and antioxidant properties in fighting infections from bacteria, viruses and fungi.
Mushrooms is often overlooked as a health food, But, they contain 2 big weapons you need for flu season; selenium, which helps the white blood cells produce cytokines which clear sickness. Second is beta glucan, an antimicrobial type of fiber, that helps in activating “superhero” cells that destroy and find infections.
Onions also contain the antimicrobial compounds known as allicin and allion. To get garlic’s full flu-fighting action, it is recommended that you consume a serving of raw onions every few hours.
You can try to put it into your food, which is much better, because then it will be a part of your lifestyle.
8. Raw Garlic
Garlic in its raw form is a pungent superfood is known as a powerful flu fighter. This is due to garlic’s compounds called allicin and allion, which have direct antiviral effects. According to Best Health, if you happen to come in contact with the flu virus, garlic can help fight it before it becomes a full-blown flu in your body.
To get the most out of garlic’s flu-fighting properties, it is recommended to chew a raw clove every 3-4 hours. Also, you can mix crushed garlic with honey, which is also known to have anti-viral properties.
Still don’t want the idea of eating raw garlic? Just add a few extra cloves to your stir-fry or soup. Even if garlic is cooked, it still contains sulfur-containing compounds, which have anti-microbial activity.
9. Sweet Potato
Sweet potatoes are not your traditional cold-fighting food. But, they are a good source of Vitamin A, which plays an important role in maintaining the health of your mucosal surfaces.
According to Daily Burn, these surfaces include your gastrointestinal tract, your skin and the inside of your nose. The skin is part of your immune system because it keeps infections from entering your body. It is known as your first line of defense. Also, keeping your mucus membranes healthy is essential to keeping infections at bay.