Published January 18, 2013
As Flu season begins to rear its ugly head, the rush towards getting a vaccination seems inescapable. Personally, I prefer a more holistic approach. My grandmother would always make us herbal elixirs to try and aid our symptoms. Since then, I have always chosen healing through food. So here’s the good news, there is a plethora of foods and spices out there that help aid our immunity. Healing foods, and healing flavors is all we need to help combat against that nasty flu. Here are some tips to put you in the right direction:
1) Ginger: Ginger comes to the aid when we're sick in some powerful ways. Besides soothing a scratchy throat, it has chemicals called sesquiterpenes that target rhinoviruses commonly known to be in the family of flu viruses. Ginger is also a natural pain and fever reducer, not mention its pretty great for your digestion. You can add ginger to certain foods; I like to add ground ginger to my oatmeal in the morning or shredded gingerroot to a juice.
2) Boost with Supplements: Immune boosters should be loaded with vitamin C, Vitamin D and Omega 3 fatty acid. I have many friends that are huge fans of the Emergen-C vitamin supplement mix that has vitamin C, electrolytes, nutrients, and antioxidants that are great for energy. Always consult your physician before starting to taken any “new” supplements, and always try to purchase holistic based products as opposed to chemical laden supplements.
3) Onion And Garlic: If you want to amp up the healing powers of your chicken or veggie soup add plenty of garlic and onions. This combination will at least keep you from getting the flu from your significant other. However, they both contain antiseptic and immunity boosting compounds. I like to add garlic powder to my soup generously to help clear my sinuses.
4) Honey: Honey has always been knows as the natural way to soothe sore throats. I remember always taking spoonfuls of it when I was sick. It also has antioxidant and antimicrobial properties to help fight infections from viruses, bacteria, and fungi. It is important to find the right type of honey though, so you need to look to see which kinds are available at your local grocery store. Note: It should always be just HONEY in the ingredients, also avoid giving honey to children under 12 months because there may be some health risks.
5) Sleep and Relax: Disease normally likes to cultivate when your body is worn down and stressed out resulting in low energy to fight illness. You will notice that its always those moments in your life when nothing else can get worse that all of a sudden the flu likes to pay a little visit. It is important for your overall health and well being to sleep and relax. Take a bath, get a massage, or go to bed a little earlier than normal. Plenty of both will give you the energy needed to fend off any ill causing threats.
Nothing can sideline your everyday life like a bad cold or the flu. We all have the power to help aid our immune systems to make it difficult to get overtaken by illness. Our immune system is a complex network that can work with us or against us. As long as we do our part, we can fuel it well with foods that can heal us, and activities that cultivate our bodies to be in the best disease fighting condition.