Healing Foods & Liquids to Fight the Flu
Natural Food Options You Can Use To Ward Off Sickness
Staying healthy during countless doctor visits or hiding the cold and flu season from the rest of the world, there can be a daunting task, even for the healthiest of people. Throw in chronic disease, sedentary lifestyles, a lack of essential nutrients, and a compromised immune system; you could be looking at a long winter. However, you do not have to resort to flu shots, you can use to ward off sickness.
If you have a grandmother, mother or concerned parent, you will know when you say, “I feel sick,” they serve up chicken soup for you. Interestingly enough, scientific evidence today supports what they used to say. The steam produced by hot chicken soup helps clear clogged airways, and the nourishing broth will give you more energy. An amino acid released from chicken during cooking chemically resembles the drug acetylcysteine, prescribed for bronchitis and other respiratory problems.
Spices that are often added to chicken soup, such as garlic and pepper (all ancient treatments for respiratory diseases), work the same way as modern cough medicines, thinning mucus to make breathing easier.
Hot and spicy food
Some people swear by hot and spicy foods such as garlic, onions, mustard, horseradish, chilies or spicy sauces to help ease congestion. This is because food spicy enough to make your eyes watery will have the same effect on your nose and promote drainage. If you feel like eating, a hot and spicy choice will help your body fight your cold.
This fragrant bulb contains a flavoring agent called alliin, which acts as a decongestant and a broad-spectrum antibiotic with powerful antibacterial properties. Garlic is also believed to act as an antioxidant and destroy free radicals, the active oxygen molecules that damage cells.
Stay hydrated with plenty of liquids. Hot beverages work better for some people, so consider chamomile or peppermint herbal tea, or sip on hot water with a slice of lemon. Drinking plenty of fluids will also help your body recover faster and fight off the virus better.
Foods High in Vitamin C
Foods high in vitamin C such as citrus fruits to increase your vitamin C intake. Drink orange juice for breakfast, snack on half a grapefruit, or add tanger-ine slices to a lunchtime salad. Potatoes, green peppers, strawberries and pineapple can also be added to your daily cold-fighting food arsenal.
Many people find fresh ginger root helps treat the coughing and fever that often accompany colds and flu. For many people, ginger (such as in ginger tea) works to boost the immune system during the cold and flu season. Ginger tea is safe, easy to prepare, and good to have on hand all winter long and can help ease throat pain and upset stomach.
What to Avoid
Avoid milk and other dairy products. At least one study has shown that a compound in milk triggers the release of histamine, a chemical that contributes to runny nose and nasal congestion, which can make chest, sinus, and nasal congestion worse.
- 3 chicken breasts (skin on and bone in, about 2 pounds)
- 2 stalks celery, cut in half
- 4 garlic cloves, peeled
- 2 cups baby carrots, divided
- 1 sprig fresh oregano
- 1 medium yellow onion, cut in half
- 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced (about 4 teaspoons)
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano leaves
- 1 1/2 pounds red or purple potatoes, cut into bite-size pieces
- 3 medium plum tomatoes, seeded and chopped (about 2 cups)
- Salt and pepper, to taste
1. Put chicken, celery, 2 garlic cloves, 1 cup carrots, the oregano sprig, and half the onion into a large pot. Fill pot with cold water 2 inches above ingredients; put over high heat. When water boils, cover and reduce heat to medium. Simmer 1 hour.
2. Set aside chicken to cool and discard all vegetables and herbs. Strain broth into a large bowl, skim fat from top and set aside.
3. Put oil, jalapeno, chopped oregano, 2 remaining garlic cloves (minced) and remaining half onion (chopped) into a large pot. Cook at medium heat until vegetables are soft, about 5 minutes. Turn heat to high; add reserved broth, potatoes and remaining carrots. When broth boils, reduce heat to medium. Cook until potatoes and carrots are tender, about 15 minutes.
4. Remove skin and bones from chicken. Shred meat into bite size pieces. Add chicken, tomatoes, salt and pepper to soup. Cook until warm or hot (if you prefer).
Don’t want to make your own? Here are the top canned performers in order of effectiveness:
- Knorr’s Chicken Flavor Chicken Noodle
- Campbell’s Home Cookin’ Chicken Vegetable
- Campbell’s Healthy Request Chicken Noodle
- Lipton Cup O Soup, Chicken Noodle
- Progresso Chicken Noodle
- Health Valley 100% Natural Chicken Broth
- 2 cups water
- Head of garlic
- 1 inch fresh ginger root
- 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
- 2 sprigs baby dill
- 1 bag black tea
- Juice of 1 lemon
- Boil the water, and lower to a simmer.
- Peel and crush the garlic & ginger root, and add to water.
- Add cayenne, baby dill, tea and lemon juice, and turn off flame.
- Allow to steep for 5 minutes and then take out all the leaf particles floating in the tea.
Basically any tea will work well, just make sure that you use heat, spice, and citrus.
The flu season has been around for as long as you and I can remember. Traditional methods of healing treatment have included fruit juices and water by the quarts, comfort foods, hot blankets, hot baths, cold compresses for headaches, additional fiber and other colon-cleansing remedies.
Stock up on these items and you’ll build flu immunity:
- Apple Cider Vinegar
- Chicken Soup
- Hot Herbal Teas
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin D
- Garlic and Ginger
- Hand Soap and Sanitizer
Furthermore, stay clear from germs but stay far from fear. The scare of a flu pandemic helps further drug sales – not peace of mind. To quote Nordine Zoureg, former Mr. Universe, “… I understood that no matter how bad your day or life may be unfolding, the illusion of your perception can be eradicated by a simple stare into the eyes of a loved one, a person or a pet or even your own self.” Remember what counts in life and you’ll not only keep yourself healthy, but you’ll feel better, too.